LANDMARKS - Points of Interest
Houston is renowned throughout the world as the home of the Texas Medical Center, the Lyndon Johnson Space Center, the Astrodome, the third largest port in the United States and the San Jacinto Monument.
Texas Medical Center
The Texas Medical Center has one of the finest concentrations of medical facilities in the world located in one area. It includes 20 major health institutions, among them two medical schools, a dental school, two nursing schools and seven hospitals. Two of the world leading heart surgeons are found here: Dr. Michael DeBakey was affiliated with Methodist Hospital and Dr. Denton Cooley operates at St. Luke's Hospital. The Texas Medical Center is a monument to human achievement, knowledge and ingenuity.
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Located on NASA road, in the clear Lake area of Houston, is the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, from which the nation's space missions are controlled. The space center has made Houston synonymous with the nation's space achievements. It was from the space center that man's first moon landing was directed. The Center contains the facilities for selection and training of astronauts, and for design, development and testing of manned spacecrafts. On display on the grounds of the center are replicas of the various spacecraft developed by the U.S. space program. The Center is composed of many buildings, among them are the Project Management Building, the Flight Crew Training Laboratory and the Technical Service Office Building.
(formerly the Astrodomain)
The old multipurpose Astrodomain achieved a lot of firsts, both nationally and worldwide, when it was opened in 1965. The complex included the Astrodome, a domed Stadium now called the Reliant Astrodome; Astroworld, an amusement park that is now demolished; and hotel and convention facilities. Hailed as the "Eighth Wonder," the Astrodome is the first domed stadium ever constructed. Built at the cost of 38 million dollars, the 208-foot tall domed stadium was erected on drained marsh land. It featured the first synthetic turf and the first indoor baseball game was played on it before a crowd that included President Lyndon Johnson and Texas Governor John Connally on April 9, 1965.
Port of Houston
The Port of Houston has been one of the busiest ports of call for national and international ships ever since its completion in 1914. The ship channel extends from the Turning Basin down the Buffalo Bayou through Galveston Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the Turning Basin and the channel stretches an extensive network of oil pipelines, refineries and cotton compresses. The Port of Houston is one of the few ports that handle containerized cargo.
San Jacinto Monument
The San Jacinto Monument and Museum are located on the San Jacinto Battleground. The edifice was erected as a tribute to the Texas army which, led by General Sam Houston, defeated the Mexicans in 1836. Atop the monument--the tallest masonry structure in the world, fifteen feet taller than the Washington Monument--carved in stone is the Lone Star of Texas.
The sun dial, on the main axis of the monument, about 200 yards west of the reflection pool, was erected by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. The San Jacinto Museum of History exhibits memorabilia of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and documents pertaining to the Texas Veterans Association, which held its first convention in Houston on May 13-15, 1873. The membership consisted of citizens, soldiers and seamen who served in Texas between 1820 and 1845. Moored near the battleground since San Jacinto Day, 1948, is the USS Texas, also known as the Battleship Texas, survivor of the dreadnaught class and a veteran of two world wars and many campaigns. The state of Texas saved its namesake battleship from scrap heap and turned it into an interesting and useful historical monument. The Battleship Texas is open to visitors year-round and contains a museum of documents and memorabilia of its long service in the U.S. Navy.