The Woodson recently acquired a scrapbook containing twenty-nine professional photographs of the Esperson Building in downtown Houston, newly completed in 1926:
At thirty-two stories it was then the tallest building in town and extremely ornate. Here are a couple of the images:
I’m guessing that’s a bust of Mr. Esperson in the entry:
And this chic woman could possibly be Mrs. Esperson:
Even the vault is impressive:
But the reason I’m interested in this scrapbook is a little less exciting. As soon as the building opened the Rice Institute moved their offices here from the Scanlan Building:
I suspect that this more mundane image of one of the office corridors up on a higher floor is what it would have looked like as you walked down the hallway and approached our rooms:
Bonus: Speaking of offices, as soon as I saw this I regretted that I hadn’t thought of it myself.
That is just outstanding! Thanks for posting and – lucky you!
Love the checkerboard tile in front of the elevators. Modern buildings could use more visual cueing like that.
Is “Mr Esperson” wearing a yarmulke?
The Niels Esperson building has always been my favorite building in downtown Houston. Thank you for the full-length picture!
Neils got a prettier building than did Mellie
You may have addressed this before, but when did Rice’s business offices move out of downtown? I thought it was way before 1926, but clearly not.
Clearly not! Someone needs to write a comprehensive history of the university — maybe “The First 100 Years.”
Even if more “mundane” than the exterior, the interior photo shows a much more elegant design than modern buildings. I watch old movies and mourn the loss of Art Deco styling.
Interesting Wikipedia article about the building https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperson_Buildings
And strangely the architect was named Eberson !
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