Soar to High Heights: Niels Esperson Building

General Admission $10
Space is limited.

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November 15, 2023
5:30 PM
Niels Esperson Building
808 Travis
Houston, TX 77002

Brought to you by the ArCH Exhibitions and Programs

Soar to High Heights: Niels Esperson Building
Wednesday, November 15, 5:30pm
Space is limited.

A city’s towers can define its place in the world, producing a skyline that reveals a city’s identity almost instantly. But today the community rarely has to access those towers and the bird’s eye views they provide. Observation decks have closed or limited access to tenants only due to increasing security concerns.

ArCH’s Soar to High Heights tour series invites the community to explore the history of our local skyscrapers, their architecture and of course access to the top. We will explore iconic and recently completed skyscrapers in Houston’s skyline.

Featured Location
Niels Esperson Building
1927. John Eberson

Mellie Keenan Esperson commissioned the 32-story Niels Esperson Building as a memorial to her husband, a Danish-born real estate and minerals speculator. Designed by theater architect John Eberson, the Esperson building includes elaborate details with massive Corinthian columns, great urns, terraces, and a grand cylindrical, terra cotta-faced tempietto at the top. Mr. Esperson’s name is carved into the side of the building above the grand entrance in large letters. The building was the tallest In Houston between 1927-29. In 1939 Mrs. Esperson again contracted Eberson and his son Drew to add a 19-story annex to the Niels Esperson Building which she named the Mellie Esperson Building (1941).

Described as “among the most recognizable” buildings in Houston, the Niels Esperson Building is the only complete example of Italian Renaissance architecture in Downtown. The building’s Westminster chimes still ring the hours and the crowning temple-like memorial is lit nightly.

This tour will include a tour of the cupola, which is only accessible by four flights of stairs.

Image courtesy Joseph Haubert