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Hutchings Sealy Building

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Located on The Strand in Galveston, Texas stands one of the earliest examples of steel-framed construction in Texas, the Hutchings Sealy building. Designed and built in 1895-1896, the gray and pink granite structure is actually two buildings, which amazingly survived the 1900 Storm and every hurricane to pass through Galveston since then.

These buildings replaced the Hutchings Sealy Bank building, operated by George Sealy. The buildings are now occupied by a restaurant and shops. The Hutchings Sealy Building is located at 2326 Strand, adjacent to Mitchell Avenue.

The Texas Historical Commission placed a marker just outside the Hutchings Sealy Building in 1982, in honor of the building's architect, Nicholas Clayton: (November 1, 1839 - December 9, 1916)

A native of Ireland, Nicholas Joseph Clayton immigrated to Ohio with his widowed mother in the early 1840s. After serving in the Union navy during the Civil War, he joined the Memphis architectural firm of Jones and Baldwin. In 1872 he was sent to Galveston to supervise construction of two company projects, the First Presbyterian Church and the Tremont Hotel. Attracted by the city's vitality and growth, he stayed to open his own architectural office.

A tireless worker noted for his bold style, attention to detailing, and professionalism, Clayton designed elaborate churches, commercial structures and homes throughout Texas and the South. His most significant contribution, however, was his influence on Galveston's architecture. From the 1870s to the early twentieth century, a period known as the city's golden era, his distinctive style was dominant.

Examples of Clayton's work which still exist include the Walter Gresham House (Bishop's Palace), Ashbel Smith Building (Old Red), W. L. Moody Building, and the Trueheart-Adriance Building in Galveston; St. Mary's Cathedral and St. Edward's College (Old Main) in Austin; R. E. Stafford Bank and opera house in Columbus; and Sacred Heart Church in Palestine.