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My Little Corner of the Net

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Bishop's Palace


Antique post card image via Wikipedia Images

I had the opportunity to visit The Bishop's Palace on a recent trip to Galveston Texas. The mansion, also known as Gresham's Castle, is an ornate 19,000 square feet Victorian-style house, located on Broadway and 14th Street in the East End Historic District.  I can honestly say that photos cannot do this architectural masterpiece justice.

1900 hurricane damage image from Wikipedia 

Galveston island was devastated by a hurricane in 1900, and as you can see in the photo above, the large stone house faired pretty well. Our tour guide stated that they just had to repair some of the wood floors on the first floor.  The house was state-of-the-art for the time, including a rooftop cistern, hot and cold running water, indoor plumbing and electricity.

I visited the house on a beautiful sunny day and you could really see the rustication and texture of the multi-colored stonework.  The house was built by Congressman, lawyer and Colonel, Walter Gresham in 1886-1893 for $250,000. (approx. $7M in todays dollars)  It was sold to the Catholic church in 1923 for $40,500 and served as the residence for the local Bishop and gained it's  name.  Entry for the tour was under the front stairs through a gift shop in the basement and the original kitchen. 

I came across some floor plans online and inserted them for reference

There were so many inspiring and fascinating details. I walked up the back stairs and into the stunning first floor entrance hall, where visitors were greeted by a grand curved staircase that bridges over a fireplace and includes beautiful stained glass windows.  The middle stained glass window was changed out with a religious one when the church purchased the residence in the 1920's. 

The breathtaking entrance hall opens to the main parlor on one side and the library on the other.  Both rooms could be closed off with large pocket doors.  Each room had a wonderful fireplace.  The library had a round bay window where Mr. Gresham kept his desk and a wonderful hand painted ceiling.

Library view from entrance hall

Bay window in library with original chair

I was delighted to find this antique clock on the mantle in the library.  It is the same style clock case that I had used for my miniature clock shop a few years ago!  

Click HERE for the a link to my clock shop project.

Opposite the library is the parlor and another beautiful marble fireplace.  The first floor windows were double hung and could be opened up all the way to all one to walk out onto the front porches.

Parlor view from the entrance hall

Detail of the parlor fireplace

The parlor opened to the music room with a coffered ceiling, another beautiful fireplace and silk covered walls.

Music room viewed from the parlor (note the mural above the mirror)

Music room fireplace details

Built-in console in the music room - note the marble matches the fireplace

After we left the music room, I headed across the entrance hall to the dining room.

The dining room built-in cabinets

view of the dining room from the entrance hall

Dining room hand painted ceiling

The solarium was visible thru the dining room windows.

 Mrs Gresham used the solarium to house her ferns that she collected on her world travels.

Solarium exterior

After the dining room was the pantry and then the kitchen.  The marble sink in the pantry was original.

The original kitchen to the house was located in the basement. This kitchen was added in the early part of the century.  It had great tile and cupboards.

After the kitchen, I headed back to the entrance hall and up the grand staircase.

The entrance rotunda also has a hand painted ceiling

Note to self - this is how to terminate carpet at the top of the stairs

Note that the window on the right had to be artificially lit because it is not on an exterior wall

The space at the top of the hall opens to a large sitting room.

A portrait of Mr. Gresham's son (and his dog) still hang in the rotunda.

The main bedroom has two adjoining bedrooms that open to a bathroom. A portrait of Mr and Mrs. Gresham hang on each side of the bed.

Each of the bedrooms were equipped with a sink

This is the bathroom off the main bedrooms (note the painted bowl in the sink)

This is the bathroom off the upstairs hall - more great tile and marble walls.

This is a view of the back-of-house stairs and the back of the stained glass window on the grand staircase that is lit from behind.  A little quirky, but cool none the less.  The third floor was closed while we were there - an excuse to go back someday and see some more!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Clock Shop Video

I compiled the progress photos of the clock shop and put them into a short video.

I found the antique Russian clock case at an estate sale and thought it would make a great room box. I also learned a lot about clocks in the process!  Let me know what you think.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Studio Addition Update

 Here is a short video clip made from the progress photos of my attic studio addition.

Let me know what you think!

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Instagram Live Interview

I had the pleasure of being the inaugural guest on D Thomas Fine Miniature's latest Instagram endeavor.

It was called a Mini Meet Up and the premise of the program was to have a few guest chat during an Instagram Live.  I gave a quick update on my studio. It was fun.

Darren with D Thomas Miniatures has a few miniature programs and interviews that he puts together and features them on Facebook, Instagram and his YouTube channel.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Podcast and Interview!

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Del Hornbuckle for a new podcast series that she is putting together.  Click here to watch:   Interview Here

We discuss my journey into miniatures, some of my mini accomplishments and discussed some of my collections.

Check out her blog here: Minifutures blog

Friday, March 5, 2021

New Article Published

 I was excited to learn that my article on TootsieToy Dollhouse furniture from the 1920's is featured in the latest issue of Dollshouse World magazine.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Happy New Year !

Wishing you a Happy New Year for 2021

This 1950's Sonia Messer table is set for a New Year's feast. 1:12 scale

If working out more is one of your resolutions, I know a little place :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

A Few December Pictures

 Here are a few pictures that I have shared on my Instagram account so far in December:

Each Saturday I feature pictures of my Willitts take-a-seat collection.  
These four chairs are from my collection.  

Getting ready to decorate the tree in this 1940's 1:12 scale Strombecker living room 

I was given this vintage nativity by a friend, and have it displayed on a Tynietoy demilune table

This was a sweater project we did at our local miniature club from

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Friday, September 25, 2020

A Few Instagram Updates

 I am posting a few of my popular pictures from my Instagram Account.  I have not had a lot of time to work on projects, but I do enjoy photographing miniature scenes.

This was my post on National Peach Day and my 1930's Schoenhut kitchen set.

I have been posting pictures of my Willits take-a-seat collection each week

Here was a post that I did for National Waffle day

On Tuesday's I post pictures of my TynieToy Collection.  In this post I was illustrating the difference between TynieToy and this other German piece from the same period.

This was a post that I did on National Pierced Ears day.  ( the plates are in fact earings)

This post was from National Bowling day ( poor attempt at humor)

This is actually not an Instagram post, but a Strombecker vanity top that I recently purchased on Ebay.  
I'm going to make new legs and bring it back to life.