Appropriate Age: Any age
The Julia Ideson Building was designed in the Spanish revival style and opened in 1926 as the Houston Central Library. It was to be the centerpiece of a 5 building civic center, however, due to the Great Depression, this vision was not realized. The other buildings were built in the modern style of the 1930s.
The Ideson building was the central library until it was replaced by the larger Jesse H. Hones library next door in 1976. It has since been home of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center.
The building is said to be haunted.
Cramer died in 1936 but people still claim to hear the paws of the dog on the tile floors and violin music filling the halls. Go here to read all the stories that I’m pretending are not true. (Haunted buildings give me the chills. And I can’t have heebie jeebies if I’m the mother of the bride or groom.)
Over the years, the architecture and fine details, including murals completed after the Depression, of in the Ideson building have been preserved, but have been in need of repair and updating. These updates have recently been made and the library reopened in December 2011.
The room is the original children’s room and includes the original furniture, and many of the original books, from 1926. I was amazed at the fine details. The chairs we sat in had cut outs of Puss in Boots!
Books cannot be checked out from the library, but we had a good time reading them at the little tables. We spent an hour reading whatever the kids found and no one noticed that I was listening extra careful for suspicious sounds. I did find a few books out of place.
But I’m pretty sure my kids were responsible for it…