The collection contains a photo album containing 45 black and white photos of the interior and exterior of the Niels Esperson Building in Houston, Texas, ca. 1927. The album includes images of a high-ceilinged lobby with elaborate light fixtures and ornamentation in bronze and mosaic, wide hallways, revolving doors, a rooftop designed for public use, with tiled walkways and cast-iron railings, enormous columns, a marble staircase, and a bank vault. Three images include Mrs. Esperson herself.
Conditions Governing Access
This material is open for research. Stored onsite at the Woodson Research Center.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish material from the Niels Esperson Building photo album must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library. The Woodson Research Center use policy is that researchers assume sole responsibility for any infringement of privacy, literary rights, copyrights, or other rights arising from their use of the archival materials. In addition to any restrictions placed by donors, certain kinds of archival materials are restricted for the life of the creator plus 50 years. These materials include, but are not limited to, student grades, transcripts, and any job applications or recommendations.
Biographical / Historical
The 32-story Niels Esperson building was once the largest office building in Houston. Designed in Italian Renaissance style by Chicago architect John Everson, it was constructed between 1925 and 1927 for developer Mellie Keenan Esperson as a tribute to her husband, Niels, a Houston oil and real estate tycoon who died in 1922. It is a highly ornate building, featuring a gold-leaf tower topped by an elaborate six-story tiered monument, terra-cotta urns, bronze elevator doors, arabesque obelisks, and extensive use of imported Roman marble.
Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University 6100 Main St.
Niels Esperson Building photo album, circa 1927, MS 1030, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University https://archives.library.rice.edu/repositories/2/resources/1546 Accessed February 29, 2024.