Texas Ingenuity History


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Best Texas Hotels

The Adolphus Hotel (Dallas; tel. 800/221-9083 or 214/742-8200)

Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek (Dallas; tel. 800/422-3408 or 214/599-2100)

Hotel Zaza (Dallas; tel. 800/597-8399 or 214/468-8399)

Stockyards Hotel (Fort Worth; tel. 800/423-8471 or 817/625-6427)

Four Seasons Hotel Houston (Houston; tel. 800/332-3442 or 713/650-1300)

Hotel Derek (Houston; tel. 866/292-4100 or 713/961-3000)

Lancaster Hotel (Houston; tel. 800/231-0336 or 713/228-9500)

Omni Corpus Christi Hotel (Corpus Christi; tel. 800/843-6664 or 361/887-1600)

Isla Grand Beach Resort (South Padre Island; tel. 800/292-7704 or 956/761-6511)

Omni La Mansión del Río (San Antonio; tel. 800/830-1400 or 210/518-1000)

The Watermark Hotel & Spa (San Antonio; tel. 866/605-1212 or 210/396-5800)

The Driskill (Austin; tel. 800/252-9367 or 512/474-5911)

Four Seasons Austin (Austin; tel. 800/332-3442 or 512/478-4500)

Lake Austin Spa Resort (Austin; 1705 S. Quinlan Park Rd.; tel. 800/847-5637)

Cibolo Creek Ranch (Shafter; tel. 432/229-3737)

Gage Hotel (Marathon; tel. 432/386-4205)

Historic - The Excelsior House (Jefferson; 903/665-2513 or 800/490-7270)






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The Inside Story of the Astrodome
and Astroturf

Whew. Those scorching summer days in Houston can get so hot and humid that you have to take a shower to cool off after walking 20 feet from your car to your house. Imagine playing a baseball game (or watching one) in weather like that. There are always a few loyal fans that will come out and watch a game in any weather, but to get a professional stadium full of fans, Houston knew that it had a problem.

In 1956, three Houston businessmen, George Kirksey, William Kirkland and Craig Cullinan, got together and started to figure out what it would take to bring a major league baseball team to the Bayou City. To that end, they began the Houston Sports Association (HSA) and started pleading their case to the Major League Baseball (MLB) owners. After all, Houston was one of the largest cities in the United States. Skyscrapers were sprouting up in downtown like weeds after a rain. It was growing, had wealth and vision, and had that "Think Big" Texas mentality, but lacked a major sports franchise. The MLB leaders were interested in Houston's proposal and gave them marching orders, "Build a stadium and we will come."

By 1959, the HSA launched an effort to find a place for a stadium. To bolster their chances of success, the HSA brought in former Harris County Judge and Houston mayor, Judge Roy Hofheinz. Under his guidance, they had a revelation. They reasoned that although it had never been done before (when did that ever stop a Texan?) the best bet was to create a fully enclosed and climate-controlled indoor sports and event facility. With plans in hand, the group returned to the MLB owners and presented their idea of a spectacular and unique domed stadium, along with evidence that the people of Houston were behind the venture. The National League saw the future and awarded the franchise.

Now the real work began. Dirt began to fly for the construction of the Harris County Domed Stadium (its official name) in 1962. At the same time, because the new Houston Colt 45 franchise had to have a place to play, a quickie 32,000 seat stadium was constructed in a corner of the land where the dome was rising. As expected, attendance at that temporary stadium remained low due to the stifling Texas heat and pesky mosquitoes. Nevertheless, the franchise played three seasons in "Colt Stadium" while the dome rose across the parking lot.

When the new stadium opened in late 1964, it was named the Astrodome in honor of the popular U.S. space program because NASA was headquartered in Houston.

Continues. . .


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The story continues in the book Texas Ingenuity... For complete information on this and other Texas stories...