WIT Press

Structural Assessment And Rehabilitation Of Historic Buildings In Galveston, Texas


Free (open access)





Page Range

495 - 505




906 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


S. Toker-Beeson


The city of Galveston is located by the coast on the Galveston Island in Texas. Due to its strategic location, the city served as the main port for the Texas Navy during the Texas Revolution, and later served as the capital of the Republic of Texas.

The city of Galveston is one of the major tourist attractions in the state due to its historical districts, which host buildings constructed in Greek, Gothic and Victorian styles. However, this important collection of the 19th century buildings is under serious risk due to hurricanes, which have killed thousands of people and caused tremendous damage in the Gulf of Mexico. The most recent devastating hurricane in the region was Ike, which struck in September 2008.

This study aims to explore the structural performance of the historical residential buildings in the city of Galveston and propose appropriate structural strengthening methods to increase their structural performance in a probable hurricane while keeping their historical values. Available information has been gathered about structural systems and connections between the structural members. A typical mathematical model that represents the structural systems and conditions of a Victorian style residential building has been developed. As the final step of the study the model has been analyzed under dead loads and wind loads with alternative strengthening approaches. The results obtained from these analyses would be helpful to assess the present structural performance of the buildings and understand how much strengthening they require. The results are also used to compare the performances of the existing structural systems and the improved structural systems. And finally, as preserving the original quality of the historical buildings is crucial in conservation, the least destructive methods to the originality of the building are identified.


cultural heritage in Galveston, historical timber buildings, structural assessment of historical timber buildings, wind analysis of historical timber buildings