Covering the entire block of Crawford Street between Texas and Prairie avenues, Houston’s Union Station was dedicated on March 2, 1911. The building was commissioned by the Houston Belt and Terminal Railway Company who hired New York-based Warren and Wetmore for the design. The same firm became famous for its hotel designs and New York’s Grand Central Station. The site for Union Station was purchased for $1,000,000 while the building expenses totaled $5,000,000.
The Houston Chronicle wrote on the day of the building’s dedication:
“Designs for the station were furnished by Warren & Wetmore, architects of New York. Nearly everything else about the building except the polished marble is of Houston production or fabrication. Construction began December 1909, by the American Construction Co., which expected to finish in 13 months. A two-month delay with steel portioned the opening for two months.
The cost of the building is placed at $540,000; the marble cost at $45,000. Three kinds of marble were used. A lot of Belgian marble Rouge du Rance was used for wainscoting and counters in the main waiting room; it is a richly colored reddish marble. Tennessee marble was used for floors in the wainscoting of the Harvey dining room. A Vermont marble, verde antique, black with green veins, was used for counters in the lunch room.
The Houston Union Station is significant of the city’s confidence in its own future. It is the gateway through which the millions who enter and leave this city in years to come will pass directly to or from the centers of trade.”
Now home to the Houston Astros and Minute Maid Park, Union Station is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. More information can be found here.