The The Galveston Sacred Heart Church is from the 1996 Galveston Series, and is a reproduction of an actual building, and is one of the more impressive pieces in the series. Since this is a retired piece it is no longer available at the “Official” Cat’s Meow Village website, but it is still available at other web sources. The best value source for this piece is probably ebay, but it can also be found at Appletreedeals or with a google search. Prices range from an ebay auction price starting at .99 to retail sales prices at online sites for around $17.95.
The 1996 Galveston Series was retired in 2001. First year issues generally go for slightly more than later issues, but piece condition is always a major factor. Since these pieces are 12 – 22 years old, and were probably in someone’s collection, it is important to try to get as much condition info as possible. This mean pictures, so you can see for yourself what you are buying.
The production process for this series has the piece info and Faline’s stamped signature on the back left corner of this piece. And as in all authentic CMV pieces, look for Casper the cat somewhere on the piece. On the Sacred Heart Church piece, Casper is sitting at the top of the steps, watching all the arrivals.
Occasionally pieces can be found that were in retail inventory and never collected or displayed by anyone, but even then, due to various storage methods, item condition still needs to be seen. Any good source for CMV pieces should be able to provide good clear front and rear view photos. That was the case with the Appletreedeals.com source, plenty of pictures and a good item description.
Sacred Heart Parish was established on June 21, 1884, when Rt. Rev. Bishop Nicholas A. Gallagher made a division of his parish in Galveston. Sacred Heart had its first mass in July of 1884.
Architect Nicholas Clayton designed the French Romanesque building which was situated at 13th and Broadway, facing south. Extremely ornate, it drew glowing praise from visiting members of the ecclesiastical family. However, the life of this impressive structure was short-lived, and on September 8, 1900, a storm that became the worst natural disaster to ever strike the United States, demolished the building. The destruction was complete except for two stained glass windows, the Mass bell, the statue of the Sacred Heart and the Crucifix which remains in the present day church. The parish family immediately made plans to replace their building. The present structure was designed by a Jesuit brother named Jimenez. The cornerstone was laid on June 21, 1903 by Bishop Gallagher and the church was consecrated on January 17,1904.
You can read the complete church history here.