You are here

Shearn Moody Plaza (Santa Fe Building)

-A A +A
Santa Fe Building
1913, Dalbert Simpson; 1932, E. A. Harrison; 1976 rehabilitation, Ford, Powell and Carson. 123 Rosenberg Ave.
  • (Photograph by Gerald Moorhead )

The eight- and eleven-story passenger station and general office building constructed by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway for its Texan subsidiary, the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway (GC&SF) , closes the vista up Strand with architectural authority. In contrast to the ruddy coloration of the nineteenth-century buildings framing it, the Santa Fe Building gleams in a mantle of white glazed brick and terra-cotta. The symmetrical building is slightly off axis when viewed up Strand. This is because the central register and right (north) wing are additions to the left (south) wing, the latter having begun life as an addition to the preceding passenger terminal building of 1897. E. A. Harrison, the Santa Fe's Chicago-based corporate architect, cleverly pulled the complex together to form a new whole out of what had been disparate parts.

The Moody Foundation, the Galveston-based charitable foundation founded by the son of one of the GC&SF's original investors, W. L. Moody, bought the then-empty passenger station and office building in 1976 and retained Ford, Powell and Carson to rehabilitate it. Since 1982 it has housed the Galveston Railroad Museum.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Shearn Moody Plaza (Santa Fe Building)", [Galveston, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: Central, South, and Gulf Coast, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 412-413.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.