The Alleys and Back Buildings of Galveston: An Architectural and Social History

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Alleys and back buildings, the subject of Ellen Beasley's visually compelling book, have been a feature of Galveston since its early days as a growing port city on the upper Texas Gulf Coast. And yet, most visitors to the island, as well as studies of the American urban environment, have largely overlooked alley rental houses, servant and slave quarters, carriage houses, stables, and other secondary structures. Like their counterparts in other cities, these buildings and their inhabitants have had a profound visual, physical, and social impact on the history and development of Galveston. Interweaving written documents, oral interviews, and images, Beasley presents a vivid picture of Galveston's alleys and alley life from the founding of the city into the twenty-first century. The book blends a unique combination of research, photography, and the voices of those who have lived and those who still live along the alleys. Beasley has uncovered and analyzed a wealth of information not only about the back buildings of Galveston but also about their occupants and the complex cultural forces at work in their lives.

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Texas A & M University Press
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