HOUSTON – It’s a question that occasionally pops up on Reddit and probably more frequently through the minds of anyone who goes to a Houston Astros game - what’s with that blue Victorian-era home right next to Minute Maid Park?
It’s the Cohn House.
The home was built in 1905 but not at the location you see it at today. It was just down the street on Rusk.
Waymarking.com reports it was the house of the house of Arthur Benjamin Cohn, “a businessman instrumental in the establishment of Rice University in 1912.”
The home was built in an area called Quality Hill, not far from downtown. Records show Cohn sold the home and land just a few years later. As the downtown district grew around it, the home went through a series of owners and fell into disrepair.
The City of Houston bought the house in 2003 and moved it to its current location on Avenida de las Americas right across from Minute Maid Park.
There were plans to make the home, and one like it, part of an $80 million cultural visitors’ center. In 2014 the Houston Chronicle reported the center would have classrooms, a theater, exhibits, and a gift shop along with the restored historical homes. An old Union Pacific train engine and short set of tracks were placed adjacent to the home. In 2015, however, fundraising fell short and plans were put on hold.
In early 2017 the home was covered in a white tarp, which has since been removed. The property is surrounded by a metal fence, and looking through from the front it’s easy to see the blue home has a long way to go, especially on the inside.
With the dreams of a tourism center ready in time for the 2017 Super Bowl long gone, the property now sits as it has for years. While there are no immediate plans, Houston First spokesman John Harris told CultureMap in 2015 a visitors’ center somewhere in the vicinity still remains a priority.
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