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The Esperson Buildings

808 Travis Street, Houston

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Location

Address

808 Travis Street, Houston, Texas, United States 77002

Bordering Streets

Travis Street
Walker Street
Milam Street
Rusk Street

Neighborhood

Downtown Houston

Fast Facts

Built

1941

Maximum Height

410 feet / 125 meters

At one time this was the crown jewel of Houston's skyline. Today it is the only full-blown example of Italian Renaissance architecture in the downtown.

The structure is wonderfully detailed with columns, urns, terraces, and a grand tempietto at the top similar to one built in 1502 in the courtyard of San Pietro in Rome.

Because of its history, this structure is properly referred to in the plural (Esperson BUILDINGS). 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, but it's 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.

Raw Data

Construction Start

1927

Construction End

1941

Size[Explanation ♐]

Maximum Height: 410 feet / 125 meters

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Attributes

• skyscraper - See more: (local) (region) (global)
• office - See more: (local) (region) (global)
• retail - See more: (local) (region) (global)
• commercial - See more: (local) (region) (global)

People and Companies

Architect

John Eberson

Timeline

• December, 2004: The Houston Chronicle reports that the Esperson Buildings have been sold for $48 million.

Hauntings?

• 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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