Built in: 1964
Built by: H. A. Lott, Inc. Designed by architects Hermon Lloyd & W. B. Morgan, and Wilson, Morris, Crain and Anderson of Morris Architects and structural engineers Walter P Moore Engineers and Consultants
Why it’s one of the seven wonders: This legendary structure is technically the 8th Wonder... of the World! While Houstonians may be the only ones who actually feel that way, the Astrodome does lay claim to being the world’s first ever domed stadium. Side note: it was also the first stadium to utilize artificial turf, known as AstroTurf; and the first to have an electronic scoreboard, known as AstroLite (you’re welcome, World). When the MLB expanded in 1960, former mayor Roy Hofheinz was granted a franchise on the promise that he’d build a covered stadium, which would help with Houston’s subtropical climate. Hofheinz claimed to be inspired to build it after visiting Rome, where he discovered the ancient Colosseum had giant curtain-like awning structures to shield spectators from the Roman sun. After getting all types of structural engineers and architects on board, the 18 story-tall, 9.5-acre dome was erected. It has seen many iterations, including, at one point, an opulent apartment for Hofheinz that was removed after a remodel in 1988, but sadly, the dome’s time has past. It closed down in 2008, and though many million dollar renovation plans have been proposed, today it sits vacant, taking up a decidedly ugly looking but still pretty cool hunk of space at NRG Park.