Page 33 - March2017

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Aided by a $200,000 donation from the Moody Foundation and
another $15,000 from the Kempner Foundation, Brink and the
GHF successfully established a revolving fund in April of 1973,
which would serve to protect the fate of the buildings on the
Strand and reserve them for new uses.
Buildings would be purchased with the fund and re-sold as
quickly as possible to investors; the money from the sale would
return to the account and be recycled to purchase another
structure. In addition to the buildings’ ability to generate
income, their purchase was incentivized with significant tax
shelters, as long as the purchase met a set of certain set of
criteria set forth by the Secretary of the Interior.
The criteria designated the types and uses of the buildings
that were eligible for the tax breaks, and they also required
substantial rehabilitation. While the investors were motivated by
the financial benefit of complying, their adherence subsequently
assured a prompt renovation and occupation of the buildings.
In 1974, the very first retail store was opened on the Strand.
Housed in the Mallory Produce Building between 21
st
and 22
nd
Streets, the Old Strand Emporium led the charge, its solitary yet
fearless existence paving the first step of the Strand’s modern
reimagining. It would prove to be a gamble that would find the
homespun store on the right side of history—it remains to this
day and now holds the title of the oldest store on the Strand.
The 1970s would see the birth of another Strand legend
when LaKing’s Confectionery was opened in 1977. Replete
with a vintage soda fountain feel and enough sugar under one
roof to sweeten all the tea in the south, forty years later it
remains one of the street’s most popular destinations.
The next line of action for the Galveston Historical
Foundation was to commission a survey of the Strand that
would thoroughly outline strategic blueprints for increasing
the visibility of the street’s ongoing renaissance and attracting
foot traffic to the area. The planning firm of Venturi and
Ranch generated the “Action Plan for the Strand” in 1975, a
comprehensive assessment that outlined every intricacy of
the project from signage to parking and traffic control, as well
Looking east down Strand in front of what is now Old Galveston
Square, c. 1974
Looking east down Strand toward 21st street, c. 1975
2300 block of Strand looking west down to 25th, c. 1974
Corner of 23rd and Strand now Saengerfest Park, c. 1974
Black and white images courtesy of John Hall
Looking east down Strand
to corner of 23rd, c. 1974
MARCH 2017 |
GALVESTON MONTHLY |
33