Clayton's Galveston: The Architecture of Nicholas J. Clayton and His Contemporaries

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Texas A&M University Press, 2000 - Architecture - 291 pages
The Queen of the Gulf that was Galveston in the late 1800s. Praised for its splendor and riches, its thriving commercial spirit, and its strategic location at one of the Gulf Coasts most accessible ports, the booming island city owed much of its glory, majesty, and confidence to architect Nicholas J. Clayton.

In Clayton's Galveston, Barrie Scardino and Drexel Turner chronicle Galveston's transformation from a faceless coastal village the blank canvas Clayton and his contemporaries used to create their masterpieces into the unique Galveston of today.

Clayton and other architects such as Nathaniel Tobey, Jr., Edward J. Duhamel, and Alfred Muller had ample opportunity to leave their mark on a city growing at a fevered pace. Waves of growth and destruction caused by immigration and the fires of 1877 and 1885 made innovation essential as well as inevitable. Clayton himself designed more than 150 of the buildings constructed from 1870 to 1900, including civic buildings, commercial projects for the Strand district, and special contracts for Galveston's elite, especially the palatial homes he built along East Broadway. The works closest to his heart, those awarded him by the Catholic Church, showcase his selfassured free eclecticism and his interpretation of contemporary French and British styles.

With the most complete and descriptive listing of Clayton's projects known to date, complemented by more than 250 photos and drawings, Clayton's Galveston provides an authoritative analysis of this era of Galveston architecture. The authors compare Clayton's work to that of his rivals and examine the theories, styles, and influences of the period. Peter Brink's foreword and Stephen Fox's afterword also contribute informed views of Clayton's life and work.

By presenting the history of Galveston's most admired edifices, assessing its remarkable architectural character, and recalling an era of invigorated thought and design, Clayton's Galveston pays homage to the architects who gave the Queen of the Gulf her crown jewels.

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N J Clayton
Claytons Contemporaries
Catalog of Buildings and Projects by N J Clayton

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About the author (2000)

Barrie Scardino is an architectural writer and historian now living in New York City. She has written and lectured extensively on Texas history and is coauthor of Houston's Forgotten Heritage, also published by Texas A&M University Press.Drexel Turner is a city planner who is currently teaching at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, University of Houston.

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