Written by Lauriston Brewster
For an online tour of the building, click here
Named after Houston’s first professional librarian, the Julia Ideson building was designed by legendary architect Ralph Adams Cram, the preeminent 20th Century Gothic revival architect in the United States and was dedicated in 1926.
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.
After serving 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.