Heritage, Volume 11, Number 3, Summer 1993 Page: 10
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The entire community of Galveston, from the Adult Probation Department to local contractors and students,
were involved in the rehabilitation of the Rainbow Row houses.
award-winning preservation architect
David Watson waived half his consulting
fees. Local contractors and suppliers donated
labor and materials; even asbestos
abatement was provided at a reduced rate.
The two largest financial contributions
came from the Favrot Fund of Houston and
the Meadows Foundation of Dallas.
"Without the Favrot Fund and Meadows
Foundation's dual commitment to providing
home ownership opportunities for
low- and moderate-income families and
preserving historic architecture, the Rainbow
Row redevelopment would not have
happened," said Massey. "These two charitable
foundations have consistently supported
our efforts to make Galveston a
good place to live, work, and raise a family."
To ensure successful home ownership
opportunities, GHF developed a Community
Homeownership Information Program
in cooperation with Galveston College and
the Galveston Board of Realtors. Prospective
buyers were required to successfully
complete the course before being considered
as purchasers of Rainbow Row
houses. Classes included information on
mortgages, maintenance, insurance, and
property taxes, among other topics. The
course is now a regular part of Galveston
Slightly more than a year after accepting
the Resolution Trust Corporation donation,
the houses were ready for their new
owners. Local banks worked with the prospective
buyers, in some cases waiving the
usual mortgage processing fees. On March
17,1992, Donia Harrison signed the papers
closing the sale on the first Rainbow Row
"I am so grateful to the Galveston Historical
Foundation for giving me the opportunity
to purchase one of these lovely
homes," said Harrison. "I thought I would
never be able to own a home, but thanks to
GHF my dream has come true."
Today, all four historic homes are owneroccupied.
Proceeds from the sales were
reinvested in GHF's residential redevelopment
projects. Since the Rainbow Row
homes were sold at less than market value,
GHF has equity sharing agreements with
each property owner. The Foundation
would receive a percentage of any profits if
an owner sells one of the houses after living
in it for less than five years. GHF also
enforces deed restrictions on the properties
and has approval over all exterior alterations
In 1992, Preservation Texas recognized
GHF's innovative program to preserve
Rainbow Row with the Driscoll Award for
the best preservation success story of the
year. That same year, the Texas Historical
Foundation applauded the efforts of the
Rainbow Row restoration project by presenting
the Galveston Historical Foundation
with the Mary Moody Northen
Award, honoring the achievements of a
local non-profit historical organization.
GHF has since embarked on additional
housing initiatives, including an effort to
revitalize an entire block in Galveston's
East End National Historic Landmark
"Rainbow Row reinforced our commitment
to coupling affordable housing and
historic preservation," said Massey. "We
have four successful homeowners today,
taking care of their properties and meeting
their obligations. It's very satisfying to
know that we have contributed to their
David Bush is public relations/marketing director
for Galveston Historical Foundation.
10 HERITAGE * SUMMER 1993
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 11, Number 3, Summer 1993, periodical, Summer 1993; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45416/m1/10/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.