The Island City Orphans Home of the 1870s and 1880s was created to provide refuge for Protestant and Jewish children in Galveston. The orphanage operated out of its original wooden structure for the next twelve years, narrowly escaping destruction in the November 1885 fire which burned houses in the immediate neighborhood. When prominent businessman and philanthropist Henry Rosenberg died in 1893, his will appointed a building fund for the orphanage. Galveston architect Alfred Muller was hired to design the Gothic Revival style structure and Thomas Lucas and Sons was chosen as the builder. The "Galveston Orphans Home," a name that it would retain for over 80 years, was dedicated on November 15, 1895.
On September 8, 1900, a powerful hurricane devastated the island and the Orphans Home was heavily damaged. To benefit the reconstruction of the Orphans Home, a charity bazaar sponsored by William Randolph Hearst was held in New York City. With the $50,000 raised at the event, the Orphans Home board hired architect George B. Stowe to design the new building. Incorporating parts of the original building left standing, the new Orphans Home was constructed by local builder Harry Devlin in the Renaissance Revival style. The building was dedicated on March 30, 1902. Community support for the Galveston Orphans Home continued by way of
donations and annual charity galas. In 1984, Galveston's orphanages combined to create the Children's Center, Inc. and moved to a different location, leaving this building vacant. For over a century, the Orphans Home provided a shelter for thousands of children and was a significant organization and charity for citizens of Galveston Island.