Julia Ideson Building

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Julia Ideson Building
Julia Ideson Building
Julia Ideson Building is located in Texas
Julia Ideson Building
Julia Ideson Building is located in the US
Julia Ideson Building
Location 500 McKinney Street
Houston, Texas
Coordinates 29°45′32″N 95°22′9″W / 29.75889°N 95.36917°W / 29.75889; -95.36917Coordinates: 29°45′32″N 95°22′9″W / 29.75889°N 95.36917°W / 29.75889; -95.36917
Area 1.5 acres (0.61 ha)
Built 1926
Architect Cram, Ralph Adams
Architectural style Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Other, Spanish Renaissance
NRHP reference # 77001447
RTHL # 13888
TSAL # 323
Significant dates
Added to NRHP November 23, 1977
Designated RTHL 2003
Designated TSAL 5/28/1981

The Julia Ideson Building is a Houston Public Library facility in Downtown Houston, Texas, United States. It is named for Julia Bedford Ideson, the first Head Librarian of the Houston Public Libraries, who served in that role for forty years.[1]

The building, with Spanish Renaissance architecture,[2] is part of the Central Library; it houses the archives, manuscripts, and the Texas and Local History Department.[3] The Houston Metropolitan Research Center is located in the building.[4]


Designed by Ralph Adams Cram of Cram and Ferguson, Boston, the Ideson Building opened in 1926 as the Central Library for HPL; the building, exhibiting a Spanish Revival style, replaced a prior Carnegie building. In 1976 the Jesse H. Jones Building (as the building was named in 1989) opened, and the Central Library moved to the new building.[4]

The building received listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.[5] The Ideson building reopened in 1979.[4]

Lana Berkowitz of the Houston Chronicle stated that there are legends of the Ideson Building being haunted by the ghost of Jacob Frank Cramer, a library caretaker, and Petey, his dog.[2]


  1. ^ Chapman, Betty Trapp. "Houston Women: Invisible Threads in the Tapestry". Virginia Beach: Donning Publishing Company, 2000, p. 109.
  2. ^ a b Berkowitz, Lana. "Downtown Houston can be a real ghost town." Houston Chronicle. October 21, 2007. Retrieved on March 7, 2010.
  3. ^ "Central Library Julia Ideson Building Texas Room and Archives Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Public Library. Retrieved on January 27, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c Houston Public Library from the Handbook of Texas Online
  5. ^ National Register Information System, National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service.

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