Tuesday, April 15, 2014

From Snoozy to Snazzy

Hi Kids,
This is my new friend Layla.  She's in the first grade in Michigan.  We had breakfast together then went to see an amazing house called "Bishop's Palace."  It was built in 1893 in Galveston, Texas, for Walter and Josephine Gresham and their children.  In 1923, they sold the house to the Catholic Diocese and Bishop Byrne moved in.  That's why it's called Bishop's Palace.

Can you find Galveston on a map?  I'll give you a clue.  Galveston is on an island off the coast of Texas.  They had a terrible storm in 1900 and many of the houses and buildings in Galveston were destroyed.  The Bishop's Palace was on slightly higher ground and was built very solidly so it survived.

This is the library.  The woodwork in the house is very elaborate. 
In this room, the book cases are made of burled black walnut.
Do you see the pattern on the floor?  It is made from small pieces
of wood.  Floors like this are called "parquet" which is pronounced

During the storm, the windows were smashed in and sea water got on
the floors and made the wood swell and buckle so they had to be replaced.

In many of the rooms, special displays give information for younger visitors.  This one, in the library, is about Peter
Rabbit.  The popular children's book was written in 1903 by Beatrix Potter, an English writer.  The Gresham children
probably read this book.  Have you read it?

This is Mrs. Gresham's bathroom.  Does it look like yours?  It's hard to see but there are three taps on the bathtub.  Can you guess what the third tap is for?  One is for hot water; one is for cold water and the third one is for........RAINWATER!  Ladies used to think that rainwater was better for washing their hair!

Above is the fireplace in the music room.  The wood is called
satinwood and the stone is Mexican onyx.  To the right you can
see a close up of a corner of the fireplace.  Above the Mexican onyx, the
trim is made of silver.

Do you see me sitting on the mantel of the fireplace in the parlor?  There were many beautiful things is this
house but I don't think I'd like to live there.  Can you imagine how much work it would be to clean 52 rooms?

I had many more adventures in Galveston and I'll be sending you more posts in the future. 

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