At Minute Maid Baseball Park–home of the Houston Astros–there is a privately maintained park space open to the sidewalk with perfectly maintain grass, plants, trees, statuary, and covered benches that are actually dugouts in the simulated ball field setting. As you walk to the edge and glance in the park you will get the feeling of neighborhood baseball games. Next time you are going to a game take a moment, step off the sidewalk and enjoy the space, the baseball history and a serene moment.
The park is behind a row of trees on the recently rebuilt Crawford Street so many drivers have only glimpsed it or do not know it is there. The Astros’ fans see it and some “hang out” with their kids looking around while someone gets the tickets. Then a few steps to the doors and they are off to the ball game.
The stadium is a great structure and far better with the park lying between the two west entries. The park softens the feel of the industrial architecture that intentionally reminds one of the rail station long ago at this location. Many places to sit and wait for the game to start or just to let traffic go by.
The park should be easy to maintain if the grass grows and the plants are kept healthy. Surely there are issues with vandalism but the benches, statuary and other amenities are rugged and not ornate. Thereby allowing repainting and repair that must be done immediately as I have never seen anything out of place. Grounds maintenance is something the Astro’s management “knocks the ball out of the park”.
I am proud that our street reconstruction project created a Crawford street setting that complements this small oasis. Be sure to look across Crawford and notice the “Baseball” fountain at the corner of Crawford and Preston.