The Strand, known as "Wall Street of the Southwest," served as the central business district of early Galveston. A fire, set in 1869 to cover a robbery at Cohn Brothers, a clothing emporium, burned a mile wide area. It began at this site, once occupied by Moro Castle, a fashionable bar and meeting place of famous people. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1979
Thomas Jefferson League (1834-1874), began construction of this building in 1871. League, son of a prominent pioneer family, was an attorney and later a judge. He contracted with local craftsmen to erect this commercial building with a decorative cast iron first floor facade and a galvanized iron cornice.
Originally the three-story structure housed three stores: Isaac Bernstein & Company, a leading clothier; a stationer and bookseller; and a cotton factor and commission merchant. Later tenants were attorneys, insurance agents, and clothing manufacturers.
In 1921, Ben Sass joined Aaron P. Levy in purchasing this property and buying Ben Blum Hardware Co. They moved the business into this facility in 1923, where it remained 50 years. After the deaths of Aaron P. Levy (1929) and Ben Sass (1935), the building and the business were purchased by Joseph Levy Rosenfield and other Levy family members. The Levys remained owners until 1973.