Julia Ideson Building

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Julia Ideson Building
Julia Ideson Building
Julia Ideson Building is located in Texas
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
Architectural style Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Other, Spanish Renaissance
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 77001447[1]
Added to NRHP November 23, 1977

The Julia Ideson Building is a Houston Public Library facility in Downtown Houston, Texas, United States.

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.[1] 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. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  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." Houston Public Library. Retrieved on January 27, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c Houston Public Library from the Handbook of Texas Online