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Galveston, Texas

The Kettle House

This tiny, hurricane-resistant house in Galveston is one of the city's most notable architectural oddities. 

This tiny metal house with sloping bowl-like walls, located on a busy road a short walk from the Gulf coast shoreline in Galveston, is known as the Kettle House for obvious reasons. 

Because the beach community around this house is prone to hurricanes, most of the nearby houses are on stilts to prevent flooding and destruction of property. Not the Kettle House though. Its exceptionally squat, sturdy construction has kept it safe through Hurricane Ike and other dramatic weather conditions that have wreaked havoc on other buildings in Galveston. 

For that matter, the Kettle House has stood in the same spot near the gulf for upwards of 50 years. No one seems to be exactly sure of the structure’s origins, but one likely story has it that its builder was a man who made storage tanks for oil companies by trade. Another (more folkloric) account says that the house was once the top of a water tower, hammered into the ground by a tropical storm.

The Kettle House does indeed resemble the top of a water tower, and doesn’t resemble much else in Galveston at all. If you’re driving out to the beach in Texas, stop by to see this truly strange little architectural artifact.