The Niels Esperson Building, 1926

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.


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10 Responses to The Niels Esperson Building, 1926

  1. Michael Bludworth says:

    That is just outstanding! Thanks for posting and – lucky you!

  2. Love the checkerboard tile in front of the elevators. Modern buildings could use more visual cueing like that.

  3. Mervin Moore says:

    Is “Mr Esperson” wearing a yarmulke?

  4. Texas SPQ says:

    The Niels Esperson building has always been my favorite building in downtown Houston. Thank you for the full-length picture!

  5. Bill Malloy says:

    Neils got a prettier building than did Mellie

  6. marmer01 says:

    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.

    • Bill Malloy says:

      Clearly not! Someone needs to write a comprehensive history of the university — maybe “The First 100 Years.”

  7. Jerry Outlaw says:

    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.

  8. Bob Toone says:

    Interesting Wikipedia article about the building

    And strangely the architect was named Eberson !

  9. Pingback: Faifax 1664, 1929 | Rice History Corner

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