Julia Ideson Building

Written by Lauriston Brewster|

Home to the Houston Metropolitan Research Center (HMRC), the Julia Ideson Building is a Houston Public Library facility in Downtown on McKinney street that was dedicated in 1926.

The Julia Ideson building was named after Houston’s first professional librarian and designed by legendary architect Ralph Adams Cram, the preeminent 20th Century Gothic revival architect in the United States.

An image of The Julia Ideson Building in front of the Heritage Plaza skyscraper with a

The Julia Ideson Building is directly in front of the Heritage Plaza skyscraper (Photo: Lauriston Brewster/Bayou Current)

It also contains the City’s largest installation of public murals completed under the  Works Progress Administration (WPA), which was an agency formed under the American New Deal.

This one building is a City of Houston Protected Landmark, a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark, a Texas State Archaeological Landmark, and a landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

For an online tour of the building, click here

The building served as the city’s central library until the Jesse Jones building (across the street) opened their doors in 1976. The Julia Ideson Building now serves the public as a grand reception hall, an exhibition gallery, and a chill spot to look at state and local vintage documents.