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The Neils Esperson Building


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I received an e-mail a while ago from a Frances Harvey who had her wedding at the top of the Esperson buildings in 1992. Apparently, it was shows on KHOU. She was good enough to share her wedding photos with us so we can get a rare view of this Houston architectural landmark.

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1992?? More like 1982!!

Sadly, the only outfit from those pictures that is still fashionable is the groom's tux.

This woman was nice enough to share with us the most important moment in her life, and that's all you can say? Geez. What a jerk. Think before you post.

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This woman was nice enough to share with us the most important moment in her life, and that's all you can say? Geez. What a jerk. Think before you post.

I did think. I changed "father" to "groom". But here, since this is what you really wanted:

Oh wow, great pictures! Thanks for sharing! I bet the view was spectacular! :)

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  • 9 months later...
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  • 3 years later...

I got to go up on the roof of the Esperson building last week. I actually work there but I just figured out how to get access to the roof. It was pretty awesome. Here are some photos.

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Downtown Houston View from Esperson Roof by J-a-x, on Flickr

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Dowotnwon Houston looking East - Esperson Roof by J-a-x, on Flickr

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Downtown Houston View from Esperson Roof 2 by J-a-x, on Flickr

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Houston Skyline from Esperson Building (closeup) by J-a-x, on Flickr

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Esperson Building Roof Details by J-a-x, on Flickr

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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 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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  • 7 months later...
  • 7 months later...

They just shifted their construction walls around to reveal the escalators from the tunnel up to the lobby.  They are reconfiguring the space in front of Schlotzky's now with new temporary walls up in front of it. The two Asian food places reopened with a more food court-esque design, perhaps they will be adding more slots in where that seating used to be. 

 

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The plaid terrazzo really grew on me over the years.  I can't figure out why they decided to draw an arc into it, much less an arc of white that is going to look really grubby really fast under all those dining tables.

 

Dang kids.

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  • 4 months later...

Had a day off of work last week and decided to get a closer look at the grand tempietto of the Esperson buildings.

Here is what I saw:

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Old mail chute

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Gulf building

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These old loudspeakers surrounded the entire balcony perimeter. Anyone know what they were for?

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Nice views..

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Beautiful urns...

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The grand tempietto...

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Hope you enjoyed!

Edited by Howard Huge
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Wow. Very cool. Who did you have to bribe to get out on the upper deck?

No one, I "snuck" up there!

I got a workout too because the elevator will only take you to floor 17 unless you have a card key.

Does anyone know what companies occupy the upper "access only" floors?

Also, I know these buildings are haunted. I have to say I felt an EXTREMELY eerie presence walking in the staircases and hallways. There was no one else there but I definitely "felt" someone or something watching me. It was pretty scary.

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Once upon a time, years ago, there was a small law firm on one of the way upper floors.  IDK who is there now.  

 

As for the speakers, IIRC they once played some simulated carillon music on the hour.  I think I even heard it recently, for the first time in forever.

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No one, I "snuck" up there!

I got a workout too because the elevator will only take you to floor 17 unless you have a card key.

Does anyone know what companies occupy the upper "access only" floors?

Also, I know these buildings are haunted. I have to say I felt an EXTREMELY eerie presence walking in the staircases and hallways. There was no one else there but I definitely "felt" someone or something watching me. It was pretty scary.

It was the NSA :lol:
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Once upon a time, years ago, there was a small law firm on one of the way upper floors.  IDK who is there now.  

 

As for the speakers, IIRC they once played some simulated carillon music on the hour.  I think I even heard it recently, for the first time in forever.

 

I'm amazed that it still exists! If memory serves correctly, there was the famous Westminster chime on the hour, followed by a repeated bell note striking the hour.

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I always thought that Westminster chime came from a church in downtown?

It's been decades since I've spent any time out-of-doors in downtown Houston and the sound of the chimes seem to float over high over the city. Back then, the only churches that were truly considered as being "downtown" were Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, Christ Church Cathedral, First Methodist Church and Annunciation Catholic Church. For a variety of reasons, church bells usually don't sound every hour.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 3 years later...

https://www.arch-con.com/division/kelsey-seybold-esperson-clinic/

Quote

Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in the Downtown Tunnels, beneath the Niels and Millie Esperson Buildings, will be the first primary care clinic located in the Tunnels. This will be the second Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Houston’s downtown area. Arch-Con will be renovating the 2,640-square-foot space, which includes a lobby, reception area, two exam rooms, a storage room, IT room, and an employee break room. The clinic will offer regular outpatient services. The location will give people who work west of Main Street easy access to a Kelsey-Seybold provider.


Photo I took on Friday.

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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to Tunnel Re-Do Under The Esperson Building

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