Arts, Culture & Media

Galveston's past

When the head of the Galveston Historical Foundation returned to his home after Hurricane Ike, he has a huge clean up task ahead of him. He says he and his staff were shocked at the destruction, and their downtown headquarters took a huge hit and all the first floor offices were destroyed and there was huge flooding in Galveston. The 1900 Hurricane in Galveston was the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history�it washed away much of Galveston and the city has been on a slow decline ever since. But in the 1960s, a Houston architect launched an effort to preserve what was left of old Galveston and published a book of photos about the rich and old architecture of Galveston. By treating the book as a requiem to the city, it was meant to shock residents into working to preserve their history and culture and a conservation effort to save the city. That effort involved the work of French photographer Cartier-Bresson. He wasn't the most obvious candidate for Galveston's effort. So the project began. The historian from earlier says Cartier-Bresson came down and spent 10 days in Galveston and took a wonderful mix of photographs which captured the architecture and slow decay of the city. He says the French photographer captured the essence of Galveston and he had a soft spot for the city as well.

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