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Esperson Buildings photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
This image is available as a print or poster.

Esperson Buildings photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz
This image is available as a print or poster.

Esperson Buildings photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz
This image is available as a print or poster.

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Esperson Buildings

Built: 1927-1941
Designed by: John Eberson
Type: Skyscraper
Maximum Height: 410 feet / 125 meters
Location: 808 Travis Street, Houston, United States
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Building Rating
90% of readers like the Esperson Buildings.
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O nce, this was the crown jewel of Houston's skyline, and today is the only full-blown example of Italian Renaissance architecture in the downtown. It is wonderfully detailed with columns, great urns, terraces, and a grand tempietto at the top similar to one built in 1502 in the courtyard of San Pietro in Rome. It is lit up at night. Because of its history, this structure is properly referred to in the plural. Mellie Esperson had the building constructed for her husband, Niels, a Texas real estate and oil tycoon. His name is carved on the side of the building in large letters at street level. The name "Mellie Esperson" is carved on her accompanying structure, known as the Mellie Esperson building. It is really just a 19-story annex to the originally building, and the reason the two are termed collectively. The Esperson buildings have the curious habit of popping up when you least expect it in the city's skyline. Because of its central location and lack of any taller next-door neighbors, this architectural ghost of the Espersons is able to haunt millions of people daily from its lofty perch.

  • December, 2004 - The Houston Chronicle reports that the Esperson Buildings have been sold for $48,000,000.00.

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    >The ghost of Mellie Esperson is said to roam the "Mellie" building. The elevator malfunctions and employees say they feel "watched."

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Bettty Stokes
Monday, November 26th, 2012 @ 5:13pm
My husband's father had an office in the Mellie Esperson Building. They were doing remodeling or redecorating and removed the bronze Indian Head design decorations from the building and gave him 2. This was most likely around the 1930s. I don't see any reference to this in the information here regarding the Mellie Esperson building.

bradley beene
Friday, January 15th, 2010 @ 10:08am
in the late 1980s the love of my life and i worked in several of the investment banks downtown..we would go to long lunches at carmelitas cantina under the esperson buildings in the tunnels.. it was always a fun friday in the lobby of the beautiful marble and older europe design..hope they preserve this as the most modern structure cannot replace

Monday, January 11th, 2010 @ 5:48am
Working as a stationary engineer in the Esperson buildings for many years I have heared alot of stories and could tell you a few of my own. From the giant decorative cow skulls that rest in peace in total darkness above the cupola to the frozen in time Esperson estate suite down to the original 1926 Kewanee steam boilers that are still in service, there is a lot of history. I have been lucky enough to see these building from the inside out. Does the ghost of Mellie Esperson meander the halls of her and her husbands buildings?Stop by the lobby of the Mellie building and ask her yourself.

Frances Harvey
Thursday, June 11th, 2009 @ 3:53am
I was married in the cupola of the Esperson Bldg. June 20, 1992It was a great experience, we were also on channel 11 news.

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 @ 8:58pm
Rating: Five stars.
I used to work at the Mellie Esperson building and it always freaked me out. Every morning when I would enter the building, the elevator that I needed to take would arrive right before I would push the button. No one would ever be in the elevator. Sometimes the elevator would stop between floors. I hated taking the elevator but the stairs were much creepier. When I would work late nights by myself, I would sometimes hear footsteps coming down the hall, but I was the only person on that floor. I love the building but it definately creeped me out.

Shellie L
Friday, October 31st, 2008 @ 3:17pm
I currently work in the Esperson Building (Mellie). I have only been here about a month, but occasionally get the strongest feeling that someone is in the elevator with me. It seems like the same elevator always arrives when I press the button and the light never lights up, nor does it "ding" when it arrives. I thought I was just being paranoid and decided to get on-line and look up the history of the building. I cam across this site first and solidified what what I was thinking. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one who got that strange feeling while riding on the elevators!

Friday, December 21st, 2007 @ 8:41pm
Rating: Five stars.
I had the honor of working for the firm that owned these magnificent.bldgs. I loved the 25 yrs there!

Friday, November 2nd, 2007 @ 3:55pm
Rating: Five stars.
This is the most incredible building! I love it so much that I have a picture of it in my home. My boyfirend was a helicopter pilot and he took me on my first ride to see the Esperson building 18 years ago. I have had one opportunity to go up inside the cupola. It has door knobs that have Neils crest on them. I think it is better than the Empire State Building.

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007 @ 11:40pm
Rating: Five stars.
I was born and raised in Houston, and I so clearly remember that building in our skyline. It has always been my favorite building in downtown. I consider myself truly fortunate, now, to work in a building that has a view of the Mellie Esperson building. I can just look over and see her whenever I please.

L, C, P.
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007 @ 6:38pm
Rating: Five stars.
My grandfather was the caretaker of this building when my mother was a child. I suppose this had to be around 1932 or earlier. I have a pin he was awarded by the building owners, I suppose. I want to go a tour this building if possible.

Mike Perkins
Thursday, February 15th, 2007 @ 7:02pm
Rating: Five stars.
I love this building. I used to work in the Mellie Esperson part for a large bank. Whenever I could I would explore these buildings. This was in the early 1990's and there was a fair amount of vacant space with empty offices with names on the doors for people who had since died. The dome and offices at the top of the Neils part were empty at the time and it was a great place to explore. I'm not too much of a believer in ghosts or spirits of the dead, but if they do exist in Houston, they are in the Neils Esperson Building, no question about it. Spooky and wonderful, this may be my favorite Houston building. A real treasure. In a city where almost everything old or historic has been torn down, we are lucky to still have this great place intact.

Carol Lynne Zachry Phillips
Tuesday, August 29th, 2006 @ 11:35am
Rating: Five stars.
My father, Charles A. Zachry, worked as an elevator mechanic for the Esperson Buildings in the 50's & 60's. His "office" was located in a room on the 18th floor of the Niels Esperson Bldg. behind a bank of elevators. He would take me to work with him on the day of the Houston Fatstock Show & Rodeo Parade when I was just a child. I looked forward to visiting my Dad at work. He once took me up to the top of the building where no one else could go. My Father died of a heart attack in 1967 while he was at work in the Esperson Bldg. I have recurring dreams about being back in the buildings. I have wanted to return to the room on the 18th floor where my father worked but never have. I hope to go back for a visit in the near future. Perhaps his spirit is also there roaming the building. Carol

Patricia Mann
Thursday, June 22nd, 2006 @ 11:06pm
Rating: Five stars.
As a child, I thought the top of the bldg. looked like a wedding cake topper. I am a native Houstonian.

Diane Rose
Wednesday, April 26th, 2006 @ 4:59pm
Rating: Five stars.
The Esperson is still the "crown jewel" of our great State. Anyone with an appreciation for art, history or architecture should visit this beautiful building.

E.J. Singer
Saturday, May 14th, 2005 @ 12:14am
Rating: Five stars.
I worked in the tunnel system under the Mellie Esperson Annex for a major healthcare organization. We had many problems in our suite that were for the most part unexplained. When I started working fulltime in the tunnel office, I often had to work alone and I ALWAYS felt that someone was in the office with me (the office was quite cavernous)when I knew I was ALONE and the side door locked. When they started doing some major renovations to the street level above the office, I started "feeling" that someone was in the office and things would be moved, doors locked, the microwave in the kitchen changed. It got so bad that I forced the building management to come down and check, changed the side door lock, locked all the doors leading to the side door exit but it STILL occurred. I was quite the LAUGHINGSTOCK among my coworkers because of this. While I worked there I never knew that Mellie Esperson supposedly haunted. It was 2yrs later that I found out that Mellie Esperson supposedly haunted the elevators and annex when I was looking up hauntings because of a movie that was out at the time. I guess Mellie must have liked me because she never stopped the elevator on me and she must have known I had an aversion to small enclosed spaces. I think she was just lonely and felt my loneliness at being stuck in an office alone for 8hrs a day and wanted to make contact with someone. When I found the website and story I sent it to my Director and felt justified that indeed SOMEONE was there all that time.

Linda Gonzales
June 8th, 2003
The Esperson Building, was one of the building I would see out my window when I went to bed at night as I was raise in Houston I lived at the Allen Parkway village back in 1958 during that time I could see it clearly now it's surrounded by Skyscraper.

March 15th, 2003
I was a courier for a while and going into the elevator of this building always gave me chills. I always felt the presence of someone else. I didn't know of it actually bing "haunted" until I guess what creeped me out was Mellie.

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