The ballpark in downtown Houston ushered in a new era for baseball in 2000, but its look and iconic train are a nod to the site's early years.
If you've ever walked into the main entrance of Minute Maid Park, you've been standing inside a piece of history. In 1911, Union Station opened as a passenger terminal and major hub in Houston’s railway system. But when trains stopped passing through, the once bustling hub was no longer necessary. In 1977, Union Station landed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Fast forward 20 years and government leaders decided downtown Houston should be home to the Astros' new facility once they ruled out the area near the Astrodome.
They felt the 25-acre spot nestled next to historic Union Station would be the perfect fit.
A lot of the construction design was meant to complement the surrounding buildings in downtown Houston along with the historic Union Station, which also became the park’s main entrance.
The train you hear after an Astros run isn't only for celebration. It serves as another way for the ballpark to honor the site's history as a railway station, while carrying oranges to tie in the present naming rights of juice maker Minute Maid.