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The Bishop’s Palace December 5, 2006

Posted by daveintexas in Damn Dog, Politics, Texas.

Built in 1886 for a quarter of a million dollars in 1886 bucks.  It’s beautiful.

Col. Walter Gresham commissioned it (an officer in the Confederacy who later became a successful Galveston lawyer).  He later became a Congressman and a lawyer who earned a buck or two in Galveston.

Called the Bishop’s Palace because in 1923 it was purchased by the Catholic Diocese of Galveston to become the official residence of the bishop (gr. overseer).  Only one ever lived there, the Reverend Christopher Byrne until his death in 1950.  Across the street from his church.



It’s a beautiful structure.  The interior is quite impressive.

I toured it this past Saturday and called one of the tour guides a jerk.

Life sure is funny.



Mrs. Col. Gresham


Window AC in 1886.  I’m impressed.


Award winning fireplace in 1890.  I didn’t even know they had American Fireplace Idol.


lots of this kind of ornate carving


Stained glass.  Coffee and tea I think, maybe some cigar.


Another impressive fireplace.


My favorite part.  This is the state seal in the staircase.

You can pull this place in for about 8 million.  You’ll have to be persuasive though.


1. S. Weasel - December 6, 2006

Yes, but WHY did you call the tour guide a jerk?

I love the Victorians. Technically (if you can be technical about aesthetics) they were awfully tacky: too many different kinds of patterns and textures and gewgaws and doodads right next to each other. It’s enthusiastic and insane.

2. harrison - December 6, 2006

Yes, but WHY did you call the tour guide a jerk?

Inquiring minds want to know, mine included.

3. Dave in Texas - December 6, 2006

Because he was a jerk and he pissed me off.
Oh all right. Two tour guides, one downstairs, one up. I asked the woman downstairs if it was ok to take photos, and she smiled and said of course. So I did.
Upstairs, the other guide is talking about whatever and he sees me taking pictures, and he barks “Hey you. Cap it”!
I reply “Pardon”?
“The camera. No pictures”!
I reply again, “I asked the guide downstairs if I could take pictures, before I took one, and she said it was fine”.
He barks one more time “No pictures. Cap it”!
Now I will admit at this point my temper is running about 101.
I won’t go into details, let’s just say I looked around to see if any minors were around (none), then I suggested he perform an anatomically impossible act upon himself. I tossed the program at to him, pointing out there’s nothing mentioned about photography, and may have asserted he was just making shit up.
I asked my wife if she had seen enough, and she nodded affirmatively. I believe I called him a jerk in response to something he was blathering about while I was leaving… I don’t really know what he said.
I’m a lot of fun on trips. Come with me sometime.

4. harrison - December 6, 2006

“Hey you. Cap it”!
That’s no way to start a conversation.
What an ass.

5. S. Weasel - December 6, 2006

Geez. What a jerk.

6. geoff - December 6, 2006

Hey you. Cap it”!

Seems useful for those gentle conversations with trolls.

7. kevlarchick - December 6, 2006

Bastid! That tour guide sucks too.

8. composmentis - December 6, 2006

What an asshole. Wow. Cap it! Cap this dickhead.

Reminds me of the time my wife (then girlfriend) and I went to the Indiana University art gallery. We had enjoyed a few cocktails. On top of that, we were young and in love. So we were giddy, just enjoying ourselves immensely.

There were no guides, but there was a woman who you could tell at first glance was an extremely unhappy person. No sad. More like born to be bitchy and in need of a good six month’s worth of getting laid, not that anyone would want to with her, which was probably part of her problem. It’s also probably why she hated us so much. Who in hell were we to be happy?

So she watched us like a hawk. Followed us everywhere and stood, staring, with her hands either clasped behind her back like some military Beulah Balbricker or with her arms crossed, scowling.

After about half an hour of this, I finally gave her cause to pounce. There was a cool, wooden carving, all varnished and beautiful. As I was talking to my wife, I began to reach toward it as if I were going to touch it. Beulah erupted. Red faced and seriously damned near shouting, she became a charging rhino. “Sir!! Sir!! DO NOT TOUCH any of the works!!

I was a little shocked by her outrage. I completely understood that I shouldn’t touch anything. After my eyes were no longer big as saucers and my eyebrows no longer raised, I just couldn’t help but look at her and start laughing. This pissed her off even more. She didn’t say another word but as I stood there looking at her red face, I actually was expecting her head to explode, covering the room in blood and brains. Then she would have more to worry about than my fingerprint on a piece of wood.

We didn’t stay long after that. It was hard to enjoy the art and the tranquility of reflecting on it knowing she was staring a hole through the back of my head.

As we left, I told her to have a nice day. I didn’t mean it. I think she knew that.

9. Mr Minority - December 6, 2006

Galveston has some beautiful old building, I just love driving around looking at the exteriors, haven’t been inside any as of yet.

FYI: Next time a tour guide pulls crap like that, just play deaf and start signing to him/her as if you can’t hear them, it makes them look bad.

10. Dave in Texas - December 6, 2006

I think it would have been hilarious at that point to take his picture.

Wish I had thought of it then.

11. Michael - December 7, 2006

Wish I had thought of it then.

I just frickin’ hate it when I think of the perfect rejoinder 45 minutes too late.

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