Texas City is a city in Galveston County in the US state of Texas. Located on the southwest shoreline of Galveston Bay, Texas City is a busy deepwater port on Texas' Gulf Coast, as well as a petroleum refining and petrochemical manufacturing center. The population was 45,099 at the 2010 census, making it the third-largest city in Galveston County, behind League Cityand Galveston. It is a part of Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan area. The city is notable as the site of a major explosion in 1947 that demolished the port and nearly destroyed the city.
|Motto: "The city that would not die"|
Location in Galveston County in the state of Texas
|Coordinates: 29°24′0″N 94°56′2″W|
Three duck hunters in 1891 noted that a location along Galveston Bay, known locally asShoal Point, had the potential to become a major port. Shoal Point had existed since the 1830s, when veterans of the Texas Revolution were awarded land for their services. The name was applied to the community when a post office opened in 1878. The duck hunters were three brothers from Duluth, Minnesota named Benjamin, Henry and Jacob Myers. After they returned to Duluth, they formed the Myers Brothers syndicate, convinced other investors to put up money to buy 10,000 acres of Galveston Bay Frontage, including Shoal Point. They renamed the area Texas City.
Texas City is located at (29.399983, −94.933851). This is 10 miles (16 km) northwest of Galveston and 37 miles (60 km) southeast of Houston.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 185.6 square miles (480.6 km2), of which 63.8 square miles (165.2 km2) is land and 121.7 square miles (315.3 km2), or 65.61%, is water.
Officially, the elevation of Texas City is 10 feet above sea level, though some areas are even lower. It was naturally vulnerable to flooding by hurricane storm surges and heavy rainstorms.
The land south and west of the city is flat coastal plain. A large part of this area to the south is marshland. Texas City is bounded on the north by Moses Lake, which is fed by Moses Bayou, a freshwater stream. The lake drains into Galveston Bay, which bounds the city on the east.
The Texas City economy has long been based on heavy industry, particularly shipping at the Port of Texas City as well as petroleum andpetrochemical refining. The Texas City Industrial Complex is a leading center of the petrochemical industry. Within this complex the Texas City Refinery operated by Marathon is the second largest petroleum refinery in Texas and third largest in the United States. The Port of Texas City became the third leading port in Texas by tonnage and ninth in the nation. In recent decades the city's planners have made efforts to diversify the economy into tourism, health care, and many other sectors. As early as 1974, Texas City was placed on the top ten list for the EPA superfund. Outdated practices for the disposal of toxic waste have continued there for years.
As of 2010 SSA Marine Company had plans to build a major new cargo container shipping terminal known as the Texas City International Terminal at Shoal Point. The project is intended to capitalize on the expansion of the Panama Canal, scheduled for completion in 2014, which city officials expect to substantially increase trade between the Gulf Coast and Asia.
The Port of Texas City, operated by the Port of Texas City / Texas City Terminal Railway, is the eighth largest port in the United States and the third largest in Texas with waterborne tonnage exceeding 78 million net tons. The Texas City Terminal Railway Company provides an important land link to the port, handling over 25,000 car loads per year. The Port of Texas City's success as a privately owned port has been aided by its shareholders, the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroads, whose connections allow for expeditious interchange of their traffic.
The Moore Memorial Public Library is located at 1701 9th Avenue North. In 1928 the City of Texas City dedicated a room in city hall to form a municipal library. The Texas City Civic Club operated the library in the room. In 1947 city hall received damage from an explosion; it was later demolished. In 1948 the library moved to a former house at 5th Street and 9th Avenue North and received its current name; it was named after Hugh Benton Moore and Helen Moore. In 1964 the library moved into its current building. In 1984 the building was expanded to 21,000 square feet (2,000 m2).
The Texas City Museum is at 409 6th Street North, in a two story building formerly occupied by J. C. Penney Co. It is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 – 4. The Galveston County Model Railroad Club exhibit on the 2nd floor is open on Saturdays.
The city operates numerous parks, some of which area part of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail.
The Texas City Prairie Preserve is a 2,300-acre (9.3 km2) nature preserve located on the shores of Moses Lake opposite the city. The terrain of the preserve includes prairie and wetland habitats. The preserve includes 40 acres (0.16 km2) of public access areas, including campsites. The remainder of the preserve is available for tours, including boardwalk access through the marshes.
The Bay Street Park is a 45-acre (0.18 km2) property near the bay and the levee. Part of the park commemorates the Aero Squadron, one of the first U.S. Army air squadrons and a precursor to the modern Air Force. The rest of the park features wilderness trails and family entertainment areas.
Nessler Park is a 55-acre (0.22 km2) property used for community events such as the annual "Music Fest by the Bay". Other large city parks include Carver Park, Godard Park, and Holland Park.
The centerpiece of Texas City's Heritage Square historical district is the former residence of one of the city's fathers, Frank B. Davison, located at 109 3rd Ave. N, just two-thirds of a mile west of the Texas City Dike's location. The Davison Home, maintained by the Texas City Historical Association, is a Victorian-styled home finished in 1897, and the site where the first child was born in the new community of Texas City.