Hunt on for Balinese Room artifacts

September 19, 2008 1:12:50 PM PDT
Historical officials in Galveston are trying to salvage items retrieved from debris where the historic Balinese Room night club toppled in Hurricane Ike last weekend. ROAD TO RECOVERY: Breaking news on Ike | POD locations | Person locator | Local gas station report | Hurricane guide | Viewer photos of Ike | Latest power numbers

The 79-year-old club, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997, was once a popular gambling hall where stars like Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and George Burns performed. Its old pilings extending some 600 feet into the Gulf of Mexico were no match for Ike's storm surge and it collapsed.

Galveston officials say only small pieces of historic structural material have been recovered although they're hoping more can be found. Wendy O'Donohoe, director of Planning and Community Development for the city, says she hopes to save as many historically significant objects as possible.

Following state protocol, the city must now catalog and sort the debris before removing it completely from the site. Staff members from the Texas Historical Commission also are involved.

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