Amazing Galveston Home Housed Texas Retail Royalty

galvestonIt’s not often that the home of what many would consider to be Texas retail royalty comes up for sale — which is why this week’s historical shelter in Galveston immediately caught our attention.

The Victorian Robert I. Cohen built in 1896 is a half mile from the beach and a little more than a mile to the Strand.

If Cohen’s name doesn’t sound familiar, perhaps the store he bought will. In 1917, Pat and James Foley sold their Houston store, Foley Brothers, to Robert, who then turned the day-to-day running of the dry goods store to his son George, who then grew sales to almost $1 million by 1919.

Foley Brothers Store, 1906, Historic Houston Photographs, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 10, 2018.

By 1922, the Cohen’s moved the store to a three-story building on Main Street in Houston, becoming the city’s largest department store.

Back home in Galveston, Robert was busy running his own store and engaging in philanthropy, by the way, and living in this gorgeous mansion located at 1704 31st St. in the Kempner Park neighborhood.

The main home has 6,000 square feet of living space over three floors (the main floor and upstairs, and a basement), all updated and incredibly well maintained. What was the original carriage house has been converted to a three-car garage with an upstairs efficiency apartment.

“This memorable home could serve as a primary residence, vacation rental, or bed and breakfast,” said listing agent Nicole Boyde with Heritage Texas Properties. “The owner has lovingly taken care of this famous Galveston home.”

Formal spaces, the family room, kitchen, breakfast room, three bedrooms, and two-and-a-half baths take up the first and second levels of the home. Below, a built-out basement or man cave boasts two more bedrooms, a bathroom, and space for a kitchen.

The home is listed at $625,000.