Page 43 - July2017

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JULY 2017 |
GALVESTON MONTHLY |
43
homes as possible before they are
demolished.
Through their company Save 1900
Realty, they purchase, restore, and resell
properties that many others would
consider untouchable. Specializing in
historic real estate, the name of the
company pays homage to all of the island
buildings that survived the 1900 Storm
and other hurricanes.
Michael jokes, “Ash won’t even consider
a house unless it looks like it’s falling in
on itself.”
The jest is not far from the truth,
however, as evidenced by a home the
couple purchased that was only two days
away from its slated demolition, a project
that ended up being filmed for network
television.
This past June, HGTV aired a pilot for
Saving Galveston
that featured Michael
and Ashley’s restoration of a run-down
1913 beach bungalow from start to
glorious finish. With enough public
support, the network could come to
the island to film more episodes so
viewers can follow along on more of their
architectural adventures.
One major difference that sets the
couple apart from others featured in DIY
shows currently on air is their willingness
to be entirely hands-on, even in the
dirtiest work involved. They are equally
adept at the tasks to be accomplished.
“For the pilot house at 2608 Avenue
O, we had to work every night until one
or two in the morning,” shares Ashley,
“because we only had five weeks to
finish. The people who bought it are from
Sugarland and planning to live there full
time.”
The ties that bind the Cordrays to
Galveston go back much further than
last month, however. The name Cordray
may even be familiar to members of the
Galveston community; Michael’s great-
grandfather’s brother, Edmund owned
Cordray’s Drugstore at 15
th
and Postoffice
from 1918 to 1965. The business served
generations of islanders.
Michael’s great grandfather, Thomas
was a carpenter by trade—the knack
for this type of work might just be in his
blood.
“A whole row of houses at 15
th
and
Postoffice were built by Cordrays,”
Michael explains.
“I always had projects going on,” he continues. “When I was going to A&M I would go
straight from class to working on a project and being covered in plaster. Then I’d show
up for the next class covered in paint or sawdust. I did that for four years, back and
forth working on houses.”
Ashley, who is from Spring, loves the Galveston community and was instrumental in
encouraging Michael to move back to the island from Houston.
“In Spring, you can go to a restaurant every night of the week and never see anyone
you know. But in Galveston, everywhere you go you see someone you know, and I love
that. I like all the fun things that Galveston does, like the homes tours and art walks.”
After dating for only two months they bought a house in Galveston to restore
together. At the time they had full time jobs, commuted to Houston every day and
worked on their house at night. It was a slow process.
Restoration Award Winner