Minute Maid Park
Minute Maid Park is home to Houston’s Major League Baseball team the Astros and is now famous for seeing a major league team playing on natural grass outdoors. This exciting renovation was approved of by their 3 million fans, whonow come to take advantage of the 242 ft high retractable roof – another first, bringing open air baseball to Houston for the first time in over 35 years. A super attraction for all the family as there will be lots of fun to be had whether it be rain or shine. And for moms and dads, there is a Happy Hour Beer outlet in Left Field with great beer variety. There are also plenty of food choices and excellent BBQ availability.
Minute Maid Park, previously named The Ballpark at Union Station, Enron Field, and Astros Field, is a retractable roof stadium in Downtown Houston, Texas, United States. It opened in 2000 as the home ballpark of Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros. It has a seating capacity of 41,168, which includes 5,197 club seats and 63 luxury suites. The stadium has a natural grass playing field. It was built as a replacement for the Astrodome, the first domed sports stadium ever built, which opened in 1965. Beverage brand Minute Maid acquired naming rights to the stadium in 2002 for $100 million over 30 years. In 1909, during the time when West End Park was Houston’s premier ballpark, the Houston Belt and Terminal Railway Company commissioned the design of a new union station for the city from New York City-based architects Warren and Wetmore. The location called for the demolition of several structures of Houston prominence. Horace Baldwin Rice’s residence and Adath Yeshurun Congregation’s synagogue among other structures were removed.
An illustration of Union Station, 1913. With an original estimated cost of US$1 million, Union Station was constructed by the American Construction Company for an eventual total of five times that amount. Exterior walls were constructed of granite, limestone, and terracotta, while the interior used an extensive amount of marble. It was completed and opened on March 1, 1911. At the time, Houston, with 17 railways, was considered the main railroad hub of the Southern United States. This is also evident by the Seal of Houston, which prominently features a locomotive. Two more floors were added the following year. The station served as the main inter-city passenger terminal for Houston for over seven decades thereafter. Passenger rail declined greatly after World War II, and the last regularly-scheduled train, the Lone Star, moved its service to Houston’s current Amtrak station on July 31, 1974. With this move, the building effectively became abandoned. On November 10, 1977, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service.