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The Neils Esperson Building

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The Neils -- Esperson Building is the only complete example of Italian Renaissance architecture in Downtown Houston. Designed by theater architect John Eberson, the Esperson building was built in 1927. It's elaborately detailed with massive columns, great urns, terraces, and a grand tempietto at the top, similar to one built in the courtyard of San Pietro in Rome in 1502. It was the tallest building in Houston until the Gulf Building was built two years later.

Neils Esperson's wife Mellie Esperson had the building constructed for her husband, Niels, a real estate and oil tycoon, and his name is carved on the side of the building, above the entrance, in large letters.

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I remember reading something that it was haunted by a maintenance man that was killed in an elevator accident.

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I'm not aware of the maintenance man but there have been reported sightings Mellie Esperson herself in the building as well as a feeling of her presence in the hallways

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I think I was mistaken. Someone's grandfather worked there as a maintenance man and had ghost stories.

I know the ghost at Spaghetti Warehouse is supposed to be the wife of the pharmacist that worked there, who fell down the elevator shaft. She's still looking for him.

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Downtown Esperson Buildings For Sale: Whisper Number – $65 Million

https://realtynewsreport.com/2020/02/05/downtown-esperson-buildings-for-sale-whisper-number-65-million/

 

Quote

 

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Contrarian Capital’s historic Esperson Buildings in downtown Houston are expected to draw offers around $65 million in a new effort to sell the buildings, reports Real Estate Alert.

 

JLL has the listing for the combined 509,000-SF properties.

 

The property includes the 32-story Niels Esperson Building, built in 1927 at 808 Travis. It has been described as the “only full-blown example of Italian Renaissance architecture in downtown Houston.”

 

The adjoining 19-story Mellie Esperson Building, 815 Walker, is an Art Deco office tower completed in 1941.

 

The Esperson buildings, which are tunnel connected, are 66 percent leased. Late last year, it was announced the Martin, Disiere, Jefferson & Wisdom law firm leased 42,000 SF in the Esperson project.

 

Overall, the Houston office market has its soft spots, but new buildings have been leasing up briskly. The owners of older office buildings respond by spending millions to renovate.

It’s all part of what real estate industry people call the “Flight to Quality.” Corporate tenants, which compete to attract the best employees (or talent), strive to have prime office buildings that have offerings that make outstanding workplaces.

 

“We continue to see firms that value their employees as assets looking to relocate to new developments to ensure employee satisfaction, allowing these companies to attract and retain top employment talent,” said office leasing expert Chip Colvill of Colvill Office Properties, which leases a number of downtown buildings. “The new developments offer a higher quality environment, greater amenities, more efficient floor plans, better elevatoring, superior parking, etc. causing these new developments to be in high demand,” Colvill said in a recent interview.

 

 

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In the "yesterday's news tomorrow" column, Martin Disiere moved into the Neils around ten years ago.  Perhaps the announcement was of their renewal. 🤷‍♂️

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