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Jacob Bernheim House

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1886; 1966 rehabilitation, Robert H. Wilson Jr. 1814 Sealy Ave.

The two-story raised house of dry goods merchant Jacob Bernheim exhibits telltale signs of Alfred Muller's style, but contemporary news reports of the reconstruction of the fire district do not identify its architect. The Bernheim House represents a condition visible time and again in Galveston: the enriched armature of late-nineteenth-century wood porch work is applied to a conventional, three-bay-wide, side-passage-plan, Southern town house. In Galveston, as in other Southern cities with a steamy, hot and humid climate, the side-passage plan was eminently sensible, since it allowed downstairs reception rooms and upstairs bedrooms to be aligned to catch the prevailing breeze, with halls and stairs relegated to the north or west sides of the house. The slightly more expansive size of Bernheim's property enabled the south-facing front veranda to be extended around the east side of the house in the form of a double gallery, a common arrangement on larger nineteenth-century Galveston houses and analogous to the “single-house” type associated with Charleston. Bernheim's immediate neighbors were members of some of Galveston's most prominent Alsatian and German Jewish merchant families.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Jacob Bernheim House", [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, 420-421.

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