Esperson Buildings

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Niels and Mellie Esperson Buildings
Neils-Esperson Building Houston Texas.jpg
The Niels Esperson Building
General information
Status Complete
Type Commercial offices
Architectural style Neoclassical
Art Deco/Art Moderne
Location Travis and Walker Streets
Houston, Texas
Coordinates 29°45′32″N 95°21′55″W / 29.7590°N 95.3653°W / 29.7590; -95.3653Coordinates: 29°45′32″N 95°21′55″W / 29.7590°N 95.3653°W / 29.7590; -95.3653
Completed Niels tower: 1927
Mellie tower: 1939–1941
Roof Niels tower: 125 m (410 ft)
Mellie tower: 82.9 m (272 ft)
Technical details
Floor count Niels tower: 32
Mellie tower: 19
Floor area 570,044 sq ft (52,958.8 m2)
Design and construction
Architect John Eberson

The Niels and Mellie Esperson Buildings are a building complex in downtown Houston, Texas. Mary Ann Azevedo of the Houston Business Journal said that they were "among the most recognizable" buildings in Downtown.[7]

The Niels Esperson Building is the only complete example of Italian Renaissance architecture in Downtown Houston.[2] Designed by theater architect John Eberson, the Esperson buildings were built in 1927 and 1941, respectively. They are 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.[2]

Mellie Esperson had the first of the two buildings constructed for her husband, Niels, a real estate and oil tycoon. His name is carved on the side of the building, above the entrance, in large letters. The name "Mellie Esperson" is carved on the accompanying structure, known as the Mellie Esperson building, although that structure is only a nineteen-story annex to the original Esperson building;[2] thus is the newwer of both buildings and it is not as tall. Also, instead of it being of neo-classical design, it was constructed in Art-Deco style.

Sherry Thomas of USA Today said that rumors of the buildings being haunted existed.[8] The ghost of Mellie Esperson is said to have haunted the building.[9] In 2007 Cameron Management Inc. sold the Esperson buildings to Seligman Western Enterprises Ltd.[7]

Popular culture[edit]

  • The Bollywood film Sirf Tum had scenes filmed at the top of the Niels Esperson tower, notably for the song "Dilbar (Beloved)".


See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Esperson Buildings at Emporis
  2. ^ a b c d The Esperson Buildings at Glass Steel and Stone
  3. ^ "Niels Esperson Building". SkyscraperPage. 
  4. ^ "Mellie Esperson Building". SkyscraperPage. 
  5. ^ Niels Esperson Building at Structurae
  6. ^ Mellie Esperson Building at Structurae
  7. ^ a b Azevedo, Mary Ann (June 22, 2007). "Cameron cashes in on Espersons". The Houston Business Journal. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Thomas, Sherry (October 30, 2003). "Houston: A city without zoning". USA Today. Retrieved October 6, 2009. 
  9. ^ Berkowitz, Lana (October 21, 2007). "Downtown Houston can be a real ghost town". The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 31 August 2012.