Day Trips: The Face, Galveston

Spooky image on UTMB wall gazes over the Galveston waterfront

Day Trips: The Face, Galveston

The Face on the outside wall of a UT Medical Branch building casts a spooky gaze over the Galveston waterfront. At first you're not sure if it's really there, and then it feels like it is staring at you.

Day Trips: The Face, Galveston

The story goes that the city lot where UTMB's Ewing Hall stands once belonged to a crusty old man who despised the business establishment. He wanted his small slice of the island to forever impede progress. He directed his heirs to never sell the property after he was gone. Not long after he died his descendants received an offer they couldn't refuse and took the money and ran.

Day Trips: The Face, Galveston
Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

The Face appeared in the prefabricated concrete wall above the back door soon after the dockside classroom building was built off Harborside Drive. Everyone supposed it was the likeness of the former property owner returning to haunt UTMB.

When the Face began drawing crowds of teenage drinkers and partiers, the university sandblasted the image off the wall, twice. The Face soon reappeared on the panel below. So, UTMB fenced off the parking lot to restrict access.

The best vantage point to see the Face is from the water.

Galveston Harbor Tours depart from the Texas Seaport Museum, 2200 Harborside Dr., six times a day. The tall ship Elissa uses the same dock. The double-decker tour boat weaves around oceangoing vessels with guides pointing out the highlights and the Face. For information, call 409/765-8687 or go to

1,266th in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 40312, South Austin, TX 78704.

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The Face, Galveston, UTMB

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