Eaton Memorial Chapel Galveston & Storm of the Century
The focus of this article is Eaton Memorial Chapel and my original linocut print. It will also concern itself with hurricanes on Galveston Island including the “storm of the century” in 1900.
Eaton Memorial Chapel is one of the two oldest historical churches on Galveston Island. It is another beautiful and elegant structure designed by architect Nicolas Clayton.
Linocuts are similar to woodcuts with the simple exception of the medium being utilized.
Sharp gouging tools are used to cut out portions of linoleum which is softer than wood. After the carving process is completed the linoleum is inked.
Paper is then pressed onto it and an image is created. The limited edition print of Eaton Memorial Chapel can be viewed to the right.
Years ago on a visit to Galveston Island I had taken many photographs of some of the interesting architectural buildings located there. They would become subject matter for future linoleum cut creations of mine.
Eaton Memorial Chapel is a beautiful structure overall but the picturesque windows on a side portion of the building particularly captured my eye.
Two of the 20 stained glass windows were made by Tiffany Studios of New York. They are beautiful in the chapel but so are the design shapes of the windows. Those pointed arched windows remind me of hands folded in prayer pointing up towards the heavens.
Eaton Memorial Chapel was completed in 1882. It is a part of Trinity Episcopal Church. The chapel was designed in a Gothic Revival style of Architecture. Everything in Gothic Revival architecture seems to lead one’s eyes upwards. Somehow it seems so appropriate when executed in churches and cathedrals.
Eaton Memorial Chapel Galveston
A medallion from the State Historical Commission placed on the building states the following:
“Eaton Memorial Chapel
Designed by noted architect Nicolas Clayton. Gothic Revival Style. Dedicated as memorial in 1882 to the Rev. Benjamin Eaton, founding rector, 1841 – 71.
Half of funds provided by the Ladies’ Parochial Society; half by financier Henry Rosenberg.
After city-wide fire (1885), chapel was used by St. Paul’s German Presbyterian Church. Center of parish life 1900 – 01 and 1925 – 27 during church repair. Renovated in 1946 and 1966.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark – 1970.”
It seems a fitting tribute that the Reverend Eaton is buried in a crypt under the altar inside Eaton Memorial Chapel.
Galveston Island and the “Storm of the Century”
This barrier island of Galveston is located off the coast of Texas. It consists of 208.4 square miles but of that almost 78% of it is water.
Going back to the 19th century Galveston had one of the largest seaside ports in the nation. It handled most of the cotton being shipped. It was a bustling city and attracted people of means as evidenced by the historic mansions and other structures erected on that attractive island. Balmy sea breezes pervade the air.
Growth was steady and everything seemed destined to make it “the place to be” up until the hurricane of 1900. That September 8th day still looms large as far as ranking of natural disasters in United States history!
The largest number of lives were lost when those powerful waves swept over the city. It changed the existing structures and affects even new construction to this day.
Most structures that still stood partially or wholly intact were raised up. In the case of Eaton Memorial Chapel its base is now 4 1/2 feet taller than it was previously. That was quite an undertaking and an engineering marvel to accomplish…raising those large historic structures!
Many of the homes particularly those right along the coastline are built up on stilts.
Hurricane Ike and Galveston’s Seawall
After the devastating 1900 hurricane a seawall was constructed near the downtown area of Galveston Island. It runs about 10 miles long and is 17 feet high to help protect the area from storm surges. For the most part this has greatly helped protect vital interests in the center of town and the historic district from periodic hurricane damage.
After the more recent Hurricane Ike in 2008, water came over the seawall and flooded much of downtown. But had the seawall not been there to take some of the brute force of those snarling and angry waves…who knows what might have happened! Many people had boarded up and left the island as was recommended.
After Ike the majority of people who dearly love Galveston Island rolled up their sleeves, got to work and have rebuilt and refurbished what was necessary to get on with their lives. Galveston was very quickly ready to host visitors and tourists. People responded and are once again flocking to see all of the many Galveston attractions.
As one can easily see by visiting the video shown above, Galveston, Texas is literally filled to the brim with things to do, see and enjoy.
Hope you enjoyed this look at one of the historic structures on Galveston Island.
When visiting Eaton Memorial Chapel try to attend a service when the large pipe organ is in use. You will walk away with an even greater appreciation of the acoustics and overall design work done by architect Nicolas Clayton. His architecture has left a large and lasting imprint on this fine city.
Other posts have been written about Galveston Island. Click on the highlighted links below if this piques your interest.
Location of Eaton Memorial Chapel in Galveston, Texas: