Galveston's Carr Mansion

Galveston's Carr Mansion

Source:  PaperCity

Source: PaperCity

I recently became a member of Preservation Houston, and have since been increasingly interested in preservation efforts in and around the city. One exciting historic renovation triumph is Carr Mansion, a new little boutique bed and breakfast in Galveston. Built in 1866, it is one of the last remaining landmarks of the island's original building boom in the mid 1800s. 

Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source:  Carr Mansion

Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source: Carr Mansion

Just after the Civil War, the Greek Revival mansion was built by Lewis W. Carr. In 1870, Texas governor Richard Coke, who founded A&M, purchased the house as a summer home. Over the span of 150 years, the home has endured a lot. From surviving the devastating hurricane in 1900 (the deadliest natural disaster in US history) to being used as a home, church, boarding house and more, the mansion has had many owners and its ups and downs of both TLC and disrepair. 

Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source:  Carr Mansion

Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source: Carr Mansion

In 1889, Herman and Bertha Marwitz purchased the home as a gift to their daughter and her husband, Ida and John Gross. John worked with Galveston architect Nicholas Clayton, who was well known at the time, to remodel and expand the property. A new ballroom with a turret and bay window were added. A new front entrance with French doors, ornate fireplace mantles imported from Europe, along with plumbing and electricity, were just a few of the major additions. 

"This suite is called The Newlyweds for John & Ida Gross, who were given the estate as a wedding gift by Ida's parents, Herman & Bertha Marwitz." Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source:  Carr Mansion

"This suite is called The Newlyweds for John & Ida Gross, who were given the estate as a wedding gift by Ida's parents, Herman & Bertha Marwitz." Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source: Carr Mansion

In 2017, the estate was purchased by Clay Carter, who runs an Austin-based investment team. Carter, who grew up in Houston, saw potential in the mansion and wanted to create a destination in Galveston that travelers would be excited about visiting. 

Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source:  Carr Mansion

Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source: Carr Mansion

“One of the values that drove me to revitalize this house," Carter says, "is a desire to be a part of good things being redeemed and resurrected.  We’re thrilled to be able to breathe new life into this beautiful, historic home and provide memorable experiences to tourists and the Galveston community.” Austin-based Shannon Eddings was selected as the interior designer, and the team went to work renovating the historic home. 

Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source:  Carr Mansion

Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source: Carr Mansion

Each of the rooms are thoughtfully named after historically significant people to the mansion's past: The Preacher, The Church Lady, The Socialite, The Newlyweds, The Merchant, The Grocer, and the Governor, as well as The Carriage House -- a later addition to the home that used to house a horse-drawn carriage. 

"This room, aptly named The Preacher, is a token to the pastor and his wife who lived upstairs in this room during the 1950's and led a church on the main floor of the estate for local Galveston residents." Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source:  Carr Mansion

"This room, aptly named The Preacher, is a token to the pastor and his wife who lived upstairs in this room during the 1950's and led a church on the main floor of the estate for local Galveston residents." Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source: Carr Mansion

Eddings filled the home with a mix of antiques and pops of mid-century, giving it a welcoming, colorfully eclectic feel. The designer says that Carr Mansion "combined two of [her] passions, history and design, and got [her] seriously interested in 1800's Texas architecture." 

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Throughout the hotel, guests will find nods to the mansion's past, from historic maps to framed postcards from the bygone era. Eddings told the Houston Chronicle that it was "exciting to juxtapose the historic woodwork and molding of the place with clean-lined, contemporary furniture and lighting."

Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source:  Carr Mansion

Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source: Carr Mansion

Hestia, Greek Goddess of the Hearth, is an ivory carving detail over the antique fireplace in the pub. Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source:  Carr Mansion  

Hestia, Greek Goddess of the Hearth, is an ivory carving detail over the antique fireplace in the pub. Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source: Carr Mansion 

Only an hour from Houston, Carr Mansion is beckoning to me as a local oasis -- one where historic preservation meets fresh design, and I'm looking forward to visiting the beach again to see this beautiful mansion in person. 

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Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source:  Carr Mansion  

Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source: Carr Mansion 

Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source:  Carr Mansion  

Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source: Carr Mansion 

Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source:  Carr Mansion  

Photo by Maggie Kloss / Source: Carr Mansion 

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