The Eighth Wonder of the World
Designed by architects Hermon Lloyd & W.B. Morgan, and Wilson, Morris, Crain and Anderson and built at a cost of $35 million (1965 dollars), the Astrodome opened in 1965 as the “Harris County Domed Stadium.” Eighteen stories tall, covering 9 ½ acres, and with a dome of 710 feet in diameter, it was built as part of the deal to bring Major League Baseball expansion team, the Colt .45s (later renamed the Astros) to Houston – the city’s subtropical climate required an air-conditioned indoor stadium to make summertime sports viable.
Conceived as a multi-use arena, the Astrodome was also home to NFL team the Houston Oilers and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. It was also the site of many notable music concerts and political events, including Hubert Humphrey’s 1968 campaign rally and the 1992 Republican National Convention. No longer in regular use, for two weeks in September 2005, the Astrodome served as a temporary shelter for Katrina evacuees from New Orleans.