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Moody Gardens

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1992–1999, Morris Architects. 81st St. at Hope Blvd.
  • (Photograph by Gerald Moorhead )
  • (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)

In the early twenty-first century, Moody Gardens represents the cutting edge of “resort destination” design, an indication of the extent to which tourism has become Galveston's primary economic generator. Developed by the philanthropic Moody Foundation, it is a 242-acre theme park featuring a seven-story, 303-room conference hotel, a convention center, a purpose-made “Palm Beach” (on Offatts Bayou rather than the Gulf of Mexico), and four attractions: a 3-D I-MAX theater, the Rainforest Pyramid, the Discovery Pyramid, and the Aquarium, also housed in a pyramid. The steel-framed pyramids are clear glass. This enclave is visible as visitors enter Galveston on the I-45 Galveston Causeway across Galveston Bay.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Moody Gardens", [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, 429-429.

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