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Historical Marker: Leon & H. Blum Co. Building2020-01-23T14:27:37-06:00

Leon & H. Blum Co. Building

Historical Marker

2300 Mechanic Street, Galveston, TX (Directions)

One of over 200 historical markers on the island, this marker highlights the firm Leon & H Blum Co.. The firm was Galveston’s leading importer and wholesale dealer in dry goods for more than twenty years. The marker was erected in 1986 by the Texas Historical Commission.

Leon H Blum Co Building Historical Marker

Inscribed

“A young Alsatian immigrant, Leon Blum (1836-1906), joined his brother Alexander in a business partnership in Richmond, Texas, about 1852. The company, A.Blum & Bro., moved to Galveston in 1859. The new firm of Leon & H. Blum was founded late in 1868, composed of brothers, Leon, Alexander, and Sylvain, and cousins Hyman and Joseph. The firm was Galveston’s leading importer and wholesale dealer in dry goods for more than twenty years. Leon & H. Blum served the southwestern United States, Indian Territory, and Mexico, and had offices in New York, Boston, and Paris, France.”

“Headquarters were established in this building in 1880. Designed for the company by Eugene Heiner (1852-1901), the Blum building was enlarged in 1882 with the input of noted Galveston architect Nicholas Clayton (1840-1916).”

“The nationwide Depression of the 1890s severely affected the business of Leon & H. Blum, and in 1896 the firm was dissolved. Since that time, the building has housed numerous establishments. The Mistrot & Bros. Company operated a large retail store here until 1917. Vacant for several years, the building later housed offices of the “Galveston Tribune.””

“Texas Sesquicentennial 1836 – 1986”

Inscribed

“Leon & H. Blum, “Importers of and Wholesale Dealers in Staple and Fancy Dry Goods, Hats, Boots and Shoes, Notions, etc.”, was founded by Alexander and Leon Blum in 1858 under the firm name of A. Blum & Bro. In 1865 the firm was reorganized and the name changed to Leon and H. Blum with partners Leon, Hyman and Sylvain Blum.”

“Under the leadership of Leon Blum, known far and wide as the “Merchant Prince of Texas,” the firm prospered and in its most successful years did a business of $5,000,000 per annum serving Texas, Mexico, and the Territories with offices in Galveston, New York, and Paris, France.”

“In the disastrous fire of June 9, 1877, the Leon & H. Blum four story establishment on the northeast corner of 22nd and Strand burned down. In 1879, this imposing building on Mechanic Street, designed by architect Eugene Heiner for Leon & H. Blum, was erected as their new place of business. The original building was 120 feet square at the corner of 24th and Mechanic. Additions to the east in 1882 and 1884 gave it its present dimensions, as pictured here.”

“It is a three story building stuccoed and scored to resemble stone, with ornamental facings, cornice and trimmings as well as a first floor arcade. In the composite style it is a fine example of late 19th century commercial architecture.”

“In 1882 the Leon & H. Blum Land Company was incorporated with Leon Blum as president; Sylvain Blum, vice president; and A. Ferrier, secretary and treasurer, with offices in this building. The company had land for sale in 150 counties in Texas. On March 26, 1896, Leon and H. Blum, wholesalers, filed for bankruptcy and went out of business. The business was then sold to Mistrot Bros. & Co., also a wholesale dry goods firm, which occupied the building from 1896 to 1917.”

“The building was sold in 1923 to The Galveston Tribune, an afternoon daily newspaper. The Tribune was published here until 1926 when the paper and property were sold to the News Publishing Co., publishers of The Galveston Daily News.”

“In 1981 George and Cynthia Mitchell purchased the building from the Revolving Fund of the Galveston Historical Foundation. In 1985 they completed restoration and renovation of the building as the elegant Tremont House and opened with a gala Mardi Gras celebration. The mansard roof was added to allow a fourth floor for the hotel and to recapture the roof configuration depicted in early engravings.”

“The Tremont House is beautifully done in the tradition of the old Tremont Houses. These formerly stood on Tremont Street at Postoffice and Church Streets, and were the epitome of fine hotels and famous for their distinctive appointments and excellent cuisine.”


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This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.