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Two Pictures Of Hurricane Damage At Flagship Hotel In Galveston


( Blogger’s Note 6/5/10—Things at the Flagship are no different today than when I made this post in April of 2009.)

Above is a picture of a room at the Flagship Hotel on the Seawall in Galveston.

Now those are rooms with a view.

The Flagship was damaged by Hurricane Ike. This picture was taken just a few weeks ago. The hurricane was in September.

I’m sorry that the Flagship was damaged and that people who worked there have lost their jobs. But I’m not sure the Flagship was very nice.

The Flagship had been renovated in recent years, but every time I walked by it I could see evidence of poor or non-existent maintenance on the grounds of the hotel. I’d see people driving to the place to check in, and I’d think that they were paying hard-earned money for a place that was not so nice.

Below you see where the driveway to the Flagship was once located. There is a small walkway beyond the former driveway, but the driveway is washed away. I wonder how long it will be until someone comes and cleans up this damage.

There are nice places to stay in Galveston and it it worth your time to visit Galveston. There is still damage from the hurricane, but repairs and improvements are being made even as we speak. Please click here to review what you can do in Galveston.

Here is a book review for Hotel: An American Historyby A.K. Sandoval Strausz

From the review—

Hotels were originally conceived as a way to shelter and control strangers — a growing preoccupation in a country whose citizens were becoming among the most mobile people in the world. Foreigners remarked on the unusual and easy freedom of movement Americans claimed as a birthright; indeed, it seemed a hallmark of a democratic society. Anyone (except blacks and Jews) could go wherever he wanted. Sandoval-Strausz dates the inspiration for the creation of the hotel to the first presidential tours of the new colonies, from 1789 to 1791; to avoid the appearance of favoritism, George Washington insisted on staying in inns and taverns, converted houses with liquor licenses. His accommodations from New Hampshire to Georgia, when they were available, were for the most part dirty and uncomfortable; it was not uncommon for guests to share beds swarming with insects. Local burghers were so embarrassed by the reports of shoddy hospitality that they began to finance the construction of large, lavish public accommodations, the better to receive notable visitors to their cities.


April 18, 2009 - Posted by | Books, Galveston | , , , ,


  1. Even though it is not a popular notion around here, I share your love of Galveston. The “it’s the ugliest beach I have ever seen” does not fly with me. Being a native Houstonian, I have gone down there since I was a toddler. I have a multitude of fond family memories, as well as new ones as the years go on.

    In fact, I went to Fish Tales on Easter Sunday, which is directly across the street from the Flagship. It was my first trip down there since Ike. I surveyed the damage as I ate my delicious crab legs. I am in total agreement about the quality of the hotel. I checked it out about seven years ago, and decided there were much better places in town. The allure is that it is directly over the water. Makes for awesome views.

    I was encouraged by the fact that a lot of recovery has become a reality In Galveston, but there is still lot to do . . .

    Comment by Peggy | April 20, 2009

  2. Peggy—Thanks for this gret comment. I’ve always thought that people who have said that Galveston in not a nice place to visit are mean and snobby. It’s great place to take a walk, get lunch, look around and spend a night.

    Please visit the blog again.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | April 20, 2009

  3. what ever happened to the flagship? we heard that it was torn down?? we were there almost 2yrs ago & that is where we stayed…we loved it!

    Comment by BARBARA | May 3, 2009

  4. Barbara–Well…It’s still there. Sort of.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | May 3, 2009

  5. We were just down to Galveston last week (May 26, 2009)and the hotel is the same as after the hurricane hit it. Nothing has been done to it. It is a shame to see something so beautiful turn so tragic. The Island is coming alive with a lot of new buildings, including one on a new pier. They also have opened almost all of the old shops and restaurants. It is still very nice to visit.

    Comment by JoAnne | June 1, 2009

  6. very eerie seeing the flagship like this.

    Comment by Perei | June 1, 2009

  7. I loved the flagship.. I would rather stay there than most other hotels.. The workers were all super friendly and I had a great time. I loved fishing the pier and catching a ton of fish including sharks, red fish, sting ray, and many more.. If they could at least fix up the t-head and let people fish off of it, it would be great. That’s the part I’m most dissapointed about.. Does anyone know another pier that is left standing after the hurricane?

    Comment by Matt | June 3, 2009

  8. I stumbled across your blog when google-ing Ron Paul. I have a friend who heard Dr. Paul is going to be in Texas on August 8, and I was trying to find some more information for him. Instead, I found your blog, and I think it’s great. I live in Missouri, but have family in Galveston. I love the first comment made by Peggy, I agree 100 percent. I was recently in Texas with my dad looking for grad schools and on our last day on the Island, we ate at Fish Tales. It’s my favorite in Galveston, and it overlooks my favorite hotel (Minus the Hotel Galvez) the Flagship. It hurts to see all the damage on the Island still. Seeing the Captain’s Table was awful.
    I’ve bookmarked your blog-it’s the first one I’ll check in on regularly!

    Comment by Patricia | June 9, 2009

  9. Patricia–Thank you for such a kind comment. Please visit the blog often and feel free to comments. If you go to grad school in Texas maybe you can visit Galveston often.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | June 10, 2009

  10. I most certainly share your enthusiasm about Galveston Island however, having done business with the Flagship hotel – well let’s just say that I wouldn’t stay there on a bet – even before Ike. There are too many great places – hotels and condo rentals – to stay at when I visit so why would I want to stay at a run-down hotel? As far as restaurants go, I really prefer Clary’s on Teichman Road. This is one of the best seafood restaurants on the western gulf coast. Unfortunately, as of a couple of months ago, it was still closed as it took a bad hit from Ike but the owners told me that they do plan to reopen.

    Comment by James Terlecki | July 23, 2009

  11. Mr. Terlecki–The Flagship was indeed a rundown place. Many places are opening up. I’ve not been to Clary’s but I’ll look for it. Thanks for visiting the blog and for the comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | July 24, 2009

  12. […] some Google Streetview shots of what the hotel used to look like, and some pictures here of what it looks like now. Not quite sure why abandoned buildings fascinate me but it was pretty cool to eat across from that […]

    Pingback by Mattgarza.net » Trip to Galveston | July 27, 2009

  13. I am wanting to go pier fishing in/around Galveston.
    As far as I can tell, the piers have all been destroyed.
    Does anyone know a pier that is left standing after the hurricane?

    Comment by Anna Britton | August 3, 2009

  14. i just got back from galveston today. lived in houston my whole life and spent many vacations down there. i haven’t been down there since ike, and it was eerie to see the flagship hotel looking like that. it does not look like it has even been touched. there were curtains flapping in the wind out of many broken windows. it was just creepy. such a shame that nothing has been done to it, and a shame. it should be repaired or demolished.

    Comment by bradygirl | January 29, 2010

  15. bradygirl—Thanks for the comment. It is taking quite a long time for this eyesore to be removed. The whole Seawall area looks worse for the Flagship being allowed to stay as it is.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | January 29, 2010

  16. I have to say we LOVE Galveston. We live in East Texas but come down there as ofter as we can. Usually 3-4 times a year. I dont agree that the beaches are dirty or nasty. We love them. We hope to live there some day. I do wish they would either fix or tear down the Flagship. It hurts to see it and remember all the damage that kept us from coming to this beautiful place for so long.

    Comment by Angelbaby | June 9, 2010

  17. I agree that Galveston is a good place and that the Flagship either needs to be fixed or torn down. Thanks for your comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | June 13, 2010

  18. A recent Texas resident, I drove to Galveston today for the first time. Having spent many years in Florida, I liked the way that Galveston shares the beach with nature. I was shocked to see the Flagship Hotel sitting out in the Gulf. I thought it was a danger and an eyesore. I couldn’t imagine that the damage was caused by Hurricane Ike and it has been rotting there since then. When I came home to research it, their website is still up and running as if it exists as a hotel. How sad. I think the pier would make an excellent site for a fabulous seafood restaurant.

    Comment by Sue Hutchinson | June 29, 2010

  19. I have been in many, many hotels…from Hawaii to Cayman Islands…from Canada to Galveston AND I must say the Flagship was one of my most memorable places to stay ! ! !Yes, maybe it isn’t a 5 Star facility, BUT the experience of standing on the balcony of my room at 2 AM in the morning, watching and listening to the waves, & observing two young men, standing waist deep in water fishing with great enthusiasm will last in MY memory forever. Let’s pray someone will charge and keep the tradition alive ! P.S. I can hear those waves right now ! ! ! My heart belongs to Galveston. (I’m a Missouri girl who longs for the ocean.)

    Comment by Marsha | June 30, 2010

  20. I just left Galveston and no these pictures are no different then how it looks today. I found it very odd and sad that it has been two years since hurricane Ike and there hasnt been anything done to cleanup or even possibly rebuilding.

    Comment by Stevie | July 8, 2010

  21. Being a Galveston native I’d never stayed at the Flagship – but I have fond memories of watching July 4th fireworks at the pier. When I brought a friend to Galveston last summer, we got out of our car and stared at the ruins of the Flagship. Surely, we said, they’ll either renovate or demolish sometime soon. It’s a heartbreak to hear that nothing’s been done.

    Comment by Janet | July 12, 2010

  22. i joined this blog group in january after my first visit to galveston post-ike. it’s great to see that not only houston/galveston natives are so fond of galveston and share with us natives the pain over seeing the historic flagship is such despair. the island itsself is looking great. after avoiding galveston like the plague after ike, i am once again finding myself making frequent visits and making memories with my own children as my parents did with me when i was a little girl. growing up, galveston was our vacation spot, and i am eager to see the island coming alive once again. please keep us updated on the flagship. although it was in a poor state even prior to the storm, it is a texas landmark and a part of so many of my childhood memories. thanks to you neil for creating this blog and giving us all a chance to share our thoughts and comments!

    Comment by bradygirl | July 12, 2010

  23. I have heard that the Flagship is being town down soon. I have really fond memories of the place with family and friends. I will miss it. I live in Iowa now and havent been back since 2003. Galveston is my favorite place since you can drive on the seawall and see the water. I cant remember the street but remember the breath taking view as you go upsmall hill and then get to view the water. It’s the first major road as you get into Galveston and turn right to go towards the water.

    Comment by Rocketgirl | February 4, 2011

  24. My wife and I had our honeymoon at the Flagship in Jan 1978 and have visited Galveston a few times since. We will miss the Flagship.

    Comment by TC | March 19, 2011

  25. will you still be able to fish off the flagship??

    Comment by demetrius Dougar | March 23, 2011

  26. What a sad day for me to realize an icon of Galveston is being taken down, most people over 40 will know the majestic Flagship has stood over time and seen many changes and decline, but the thrill of staying over the water and letting my son over 20 years ago experience the same thrill I had as a young child in the 70’s throw french fries at the sea gulls and hear the water splash below was enough for me and him. It was a shame that this once grand structure has been allowed to decline and not be saved. The Flagship always was a landmark and has stood the test of time with the fancy bells and whistles hotels that have sprung up around it, yes the carpet was stained and the elevators had a funny smell, but that was the years of families wet sandy toes and hand prints of laughter and fun for many decades. Im proud to call myself a patron of the Ole’ girl and will always miss the view and the sounds of a hotel like no other in Galveston. What a loss for the community and a sad closer to history that once helped make Galveston the place that she is. I hope the City of Galveston not only recognizes the significance of this hotel but will at least honor its memory.

    Comment by Debra | July 22, 2011

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