One of over 200 historical markers on the island, this marker is located at the 1882 Greenleve Block & Co. Building built in 1882 for $65,000.
“This building, designed by Nicholas J. Clayton, was erected in 1882 for the wholesale drygoods firm of Greenleve, Block & Co. at a cost of $65,000. It was built of Philadelphia pressed brick and cut stone, with supportive and decorative iron columns from the Lee Iron Works of Galveston. Originally, the building was “Four stories high aggregating in height seventy-five feet, in which colored brick was used to, decorate the construction”… a height equivalent today to a seven-story office building. Once there was an elaborate cornice, almost equal to the fifth story, crowned by a gilded spread-winged bird and the national ensign. In 1900, the cornice was destroyed by the great hurricane that devastated the city. In recent years, the fourth story has also been removed because of damage from Hurricane Carla in 1961, and the east and west bays have been closed in.”
“Greenleve, Block & Co. was organized at the close of the Civil War and sold wholesale drygoods, notions and furnishings as well as boots, shoes and hats. It was one of the largest firms in Galveston, selling throughout Texas as well as Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. In 1884, the firm was reorganized as Block, Oppenheimer & Company, with Louis Block and Leopold Oppenheimer as the principals and Elise Michael, Jacob Sonnentheil and Sylvain Lion as associates.”
“From 1895 to 1914, the building was occupied by the Galveston Drygoods Company, with Robert Weis, originally of Halff, Weis & Co., as General Manager. Bertrand Adoue was President and Joseph Lobit was Treasurer. The two officers were partners in the Adoue & Lobit Bank, also on the Strand. The Galveston Drygoods Company continued to offer the same line of wholesale drygoods as its predecessors.”
“Between 1915 and 1919 the building stood vacant and then was occupied from 1919 until 1986 by Flood & Calvert, ship chandlers.”
“Today this building not only continues to fulfill its original purpose as a business office but also represents an historically important link to the opulent commercial age of colossal Victorian merchant houses which made The Strand the “Wall Street of the Southwest.””