Tuesday, September 02, 2014




Take a walk through old downtown Victoria

By Melissa Crowe
Aug. 24, 2013 at 8:24 a.m.

The Nave Museum in downtown Victoria.

Discover the fun of exploring Victoria by foot. With its rich history and cultural diversity, downtown Victoria offers visitors a glimpse of the past with historic homes and buildings and a taste of the present with restaurants, bars and music venues.

1. DeLeon Plaza Bandstand

100 N. Main St.

Originally built in 1885 and restored in 2003 after Hurricane Claudette, the bandstand is the focal point of the plaza, where many civic and social gatherings occur, including the city's downtown street dance concert series, Bootfest and other festivals and cultural events.

2. 1892 Victoria County Courthouse

101 N. Bridge St.

J. Riely Gordon, a well-known Texas architect, designed this Romanesque Revival structure. The courthouse was voted one of the top 10 favorite historic courthouses in Texas and was restored for $5.6 million and rededicated in 2001.

3. The Nave Museum

306 W. Commercial St.

Built in 1932 in a classic Greek style, the Nave Museum has been open to the public since 1975. As the only art museum in Victoria, the Nave's exhibits include classical and modern art, ranging from portraiture and landscapes to decorated "Art Cars." The Nave celebrates and promotes diversity in art, culture and perspective.

4. Leo. J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts

214 N. Main St.

The Welder Center has been home to many other businesses, including a filling station in the 1930s and a Dunlap's Department Store in the 1960s. Transformed into a community theater, it is managed by Victoria College and hosts many events including film screenings, ballets and political forums.

5. Victoria Art League

905 S. Bridge St.

Built in 1898 in the (then) heart of Victoria's riverfront business district, the Thurmond Building was reputedly patterned after a New Orleans bordello.

Once a grocery store, general mercantile store and a farmer's co-op, it now houses the Victoria Art League Community Art Center, which hosts painting classes, pottery workshops and wine nights, among other public and private events.

6. Greek's 205 Bar

205 E. Constitution St.

Built around the turn of the century, Greek's 205 Bar was once a grain and feed store and later a business for typewriter sales. It is now a late-night bar and restaurant. With live music, an outdoor patio, a rotating selection of beers on tap and "Prime Rib Night," 205 is a great place to spend an evening and hear local musicians.

7. Golden Gecko

202 E. Forrest St.

Built in 1893, the Hauschild Opera House is now home to a 21-and-up lounge that offers comedy nights, karaoke, live music and DJs.

8. Fossati's Delicatessen

302 S. Main St.

First opened in 1882 by Frank N. Fossati, an Italian immigrant, Fossati's has grown to be the oldest delicatessen in Texas and a prime lunch spot for downtown visitors.

9. Steve-a-Reno's Rock

and Roll Blues Bar

103 W. Santa Rosa St.

Opened in 2012, Steve-a-Reno's is the premier place for music lovers in Victoria. With a booked up schedule of blues, rock, Americana and rockabilly bands, you'll be out on the dance floor in no time at this bar.

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