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Future Of The Astrodome

What do you think should happen to the astrodome?  

168 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think should happen to the astrodome?

    • luxurey hotel
      14
    • demolation
      51
    • mini city
      35
    • historical landmark
      67


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I envision a park that would attract locals and tourists of all ages for walking, people watching, exploring, exercise, thrill seeking, relaxing, birthday parties, weddings, festivals, etc. with the following features:

 

  1. A great lawn for events, picnics, and kids playing.
  2. A lake fed by waterfalls connected to a circular river with small rental boats.
  3. Trees and plants throughout including butterfly gardens.
  4. A Grand Promenade that circles the park and smaller winding trails.
  5. A playground, splash park, and carousel for kids.
  6. A large climbing wall on a “cliff” at the edge of the park.
  7. A mini railroad loop.
  8. A large amphitheater and smaller amphitheater.
  9. Shelters/areas that can be reserved for weddings, birthday parties, meetings, etc.
  10. Loads of unreserved picnic tables and benches.
  11. “Buttes” rising from the floor of the park with tunnels within and “caves” overlooking the park.
  12. Rope bridges and zip lines connecting the tops of the buttes to the cliffs at the edge of the park.
  13. A main plaza area with commercial shops.
  14. Food and drink shops (restaurants, ice cream, snacks, smoothies, bars, etc.).
  15. A bike loop and separate running loop around upper level outer perimeter walkways.

 

General park admission (and parking) should be free.  Revenues for park upkeep would be partially generated by fees for reserved areas and fees from park businesses such as restaurants, shops, railroad rides, boat rentals, carousel, rock climbing, zip lines, amphitheater events, locker rooms, etc.

 

The park would be a great place to host large events and festivals up to once a month with music in the amphitheaters and booth areas located all around the Grand Promenade.

 

A fountain and light show could be developed with water spraying out of islands and buttes into the lake combined with colored lights and projectors for shows visible from many areas in the park.

 

post-1489-0-42243200-1413992855_thumb.pn

 

post-1489-0-70960600-1413992900_thumb.pn

 

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I realize that some people can't get past the fact that in 2014 people from all over the world tour the Eiffel Tower and the Astrodome is mothballed. But if repurposed and marketed correctly, I think the Astrodome could absolutely one day attract the same kind of tourism that the Eiffel Tower currently does. The older the dome gets, the more historically relevant it gets. Believe it or not, not everyone was impressed with the Eiffel Tower when it was built or when it began to show it age either. In fact, a lot of destinations were discarded eye sores before they were reborn as tourist attractions. Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 in San Francisco come to mind.

What I'm saying is that even if the Astrodome never achieves the same type of acclaim that the Eiffel Tower receives, the dome is the closest thing we have to it in Houston. I think of the dome as "HOUSTON'S Eiffel Tower", not as something that competes with the Eiffel Tower as it exist today. At least not yet. Just as people identify the Eiffel Tower with Paris, the Astrodome WAS commonly identified with Houston for years, many years ago, and can be again if directed to. It's all about marketing and repurposing. As long as the building exist, it has the chance to become famous again. If they tear it down it is a lost opportunity FOREVER. Not just for Houston, but for the world - even if the world or Houston doesn't know it yet.

Parisians still hate the Eiffel Tower to this day.

 

I appreciate your enthusiasm for the Dome but I seriously doubt one day it will be the one of the top visited landmarks in the world. Yes, at the time, the first domed stadium was quite a feat for engineering. But it's just a stadium... 

 

I get your comparison that it's the closest thing we have to the Eiffel Tower (monument wise). But I think you are romanticizing it beyond comprehension. I would be interested to see your ideas about marketing and re-purposing other than the current indoor park plan. What can be done to not only save this dome but turn it into this future tourist dream? I don't see it. I can't see it (And by all means I have a wild imagination). So please, help me see what you see.

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@ On The Other Hand - LOVE IT! That's what I'm talking about.

@ Montrose - Who would have ever guessed in 1933 that Alcatraz would ever be a tourists destination? Or the grungy old beaten up Fisherman's Wharf? Or Ellis Island? I would never try to predict what will be romanticized in the future. They were just ordinary buildings used for practical purposes.

I think the Astrodome has as good a chance as anything standing today to be a top visited landmark in the world in the future, if marketed correctly. It's certainly got a better chance than anything else in Houston. It's got historical relevance. It's big. People have already 'heard' about it outside of Houston. And even if it doesn't become a top visited landmark in the future, it could still be a usable, terrific public space for the locals to enjoy.

I strongly disagree that it's 'just a stadium'. If it was 'just a stadium' we wouldn't be having this discussion. It would have been torn down years ago like Texas Stadium. The Astrodome revolutionized stadiums. It helped put Houston on the map in the 1960's. It made people re-imagine what kinds of events could be held indoors. It represents an engineering milestone and is an unique architectural icon.

About what to do with it... Frankly, at this point, I'm tired of listening to wild ideas and cooler than cool hypotheticals of repurposing of the dome. To me it isn't about coming up with the coolest idea anymore, it's about coming up with the most REALISTIC cool idea that has a better chance of happening against an army of people who would just as soon see it become another 10 acres of additional parking.

People have been dreaming up cool ideas for 15 years and nothing happens. Granted, the park idea does not allow for the coolest or wildest structures to be built inside the dome or cater to any specialize group of people with a particular interest. I know many people love the idea of indoor skiing, water parks or casinos ect., because all of those things are more fun than just going to a park full of boring trees that just stand there and do nothing.

But the park idea works for me because it keeps the dome as an multipurpose usable venue. It's not about building something really cool inside the dome. The dome is already cool. It's about the events and fun activities that would be going on inside the dome - a climate controlled, comfortable environment that also has some notoriety and historic relevance. Do they need living trees and a park environment to hold special events inside the dome? I don't know, but the permanent living park idea certainly sounds more inviting and provides extra reason to want to go there or hold your event there instead of at another large, less ornamental indoor venue.

Holding a public event inside the dome could kind of be like holding a party on the Queen Mary only instead of a party it could be street fairs, big time festivals, farmers markets, concerts, conventions or any other traditionally held outdoor events that people travel to other parts of town to go to for weekend fun. The dome is so big, you could have different events held at once. There may be ideas of what to add inside or new types of events we haven't even thought up yet. The park idea has legs and would allow for growth.

The park idea would allow the dome to return to the days when it attracted a large variety of events. But instead of buying a ticket and sitting in seat to watch athletes and famous people do their stuff, the public would be on the floor, truly interacting with this unique space. Throw in the fact that famous people once did cool things on this ground and it only adds to the fun and novelty of being there.

Edited by SMF
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I envision a park that would attract locals and tourists of all ages for walking, people watching, exploring, exercise, thrill seeking, relaxing, birthday parties, weddings, festivals, etc. with the following features:

 

  1. A great lawn for events, picnics, and kids playing.
  2. A lake fed by waterfalls connected to a circular river with small rental boats.
  3. Trees and plants throughout including butterfly gardens.
  4. A Grand Promenade that circles the park and smaller winding trails.
  5. A playground, splash park, and carousel for kids.
  6. A large climbing wall on a “cliff” at the edge of the park.
  7. A mini railroad loop.
  8. A large amphitheater and smaller amphitheater.
  9. Shelters/areas that can be reserved for weddings, birthday parties, meetings, etc.
  10. Loads of unreserved picnic tables and benches.
  11. “Buttes” rising from the floor of the park with tunnels within and “caves” overlooking the park.
  12. Rope bridges and zip lines connecting the tops of the buttes to the cliffs at the edge of the park.
  13. A main plaza area with commercial shops.
  14. Food and drink shops (restaurants, ice cream, snacks, smoothies, bars, etc.).
  15. A bike loop and separate running loop around upper level outer perimeter walkways.

 

General park admission (and parking) should be free.  Revenues for park upkeep would be partially generated by fees for reserved areas and fees from park businesses such as restaurants, shops, railroad rides, boat rentals, carousel, rock climbing, zip lines, amphitheater events, locker rooms, etc.

 

The park would be a great place to host large events and festivals up to once a month with music in the amphitheaters and booth areas located all around the Grand Promenade.

 

A fountain and light show could be developed with water spraying out of islands and buttes into the lake combined with colored lights and projectors for shows visible from many areas in the park.

 

attachicon.gifAstrodomeParkColorDrawing3Labeled.png

 

attachicon.gifAstrodomeParkSection.png

 

Now this is better! Did you do this yourself?

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I envision a park that would attract locals and tourists of all ages for walking, people watching, exploring, exercise, thrill seeking, relaxing, birthday parties, weddings, festivals, etc. with the following features:

 

  1. A great lawn for events, picnics, and kids playing.
  2. A lake fed by waterfalls connected to a circular river with small rental boats.
  3. Trees and plants throughout including butterfly gardens.
  4. A Grand Promenade that circles the park and smaller winding trails.
  5. A playground, splash park, and carousel for kids.
  6. A large climbing wall on a “cliff” at the edge of the park.
  7. A mini railroad loop.
  8. A large amphitheater and smaller amphitheater.
  9. Shelters/areas that can be reserved for weddings, birthday parties, meetings, etc.
  10. Loads of unreserved picnic tables and benches.
  11. “Buttes” rising from the floor of the park with tunnels within and “caves” overlooking the park.
  12. Rope bridges and zip lines connecting the tops of the buttes to the cliffs at the edge of the park.
  13. A main plaza area with commercial shops.
  14. Food and drink shops (restaurants, ice cream, snacks, smoothies, bars, etc.).
  15. A bike loop and separate running loop around upper level outer perimeter walkways.

 

General park admission (and parking) should be free.  Revenues for park upkeep would be partially generated by fees for reserved areas and fees from park businesses such as restaurants, shops, railroad rides, boat rentals, carousel, rock climbing, zip lines, amphitheater events, locker rooms, etc.

 

The park would be a great place to host large events and festivals up to once a month with music in the amphitheaters and booth areas located all around the Grand Promenade.

 

A fountain and light show could be developed with water spraying out of islands and buttes into the lake combined with colored lights and projectors for shows visible from many areas in the park.

 

attachicon.gifAstrodomeParkColorDrawing3Labeled.png

 

attachicon.gifAstrodomeParkSection.png

That, my friend, deserves a "Keep Calm and..." from Monarch.

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Love this!  Sent it to Judge Emmett's office (everybody should), Lisa Gray at the Chronicle, and will be blogging about it at some point at Houston Strategies.  This could really get the public excited about the concept and more supportive!

 

I envision a park that would attract locals and tourists of all ages for walking, people watching, exploring, exercise, thrill seeking, relaxing, birthday parties, weddings, festivals, etc. with the following features:

 

  1. A great lawn for events, picnics, and kids playing.
  2. A lake fed by waterfalls connected to a circular river with small rental boats.
  3. Trees and plants throughout including butterfly gardens.
  4. A Grand Promenade that circles the park and smaller winding trails.
  5. A playground, splash park, and carousel for kids.
  6. A large climbing wall on a “cliff” at the edge of the park.
  7. A mini railroad loop.
  8. A large amphitheater and smaller amphitheater.
  9. Shelters/areas that can be reserved for weddings, birthday parties, meetings, etc.
  10. Loads of unreserved picnic tables and benches.
  11. “Buttes” rising from the floor of the park with tunnels within and “caves” overlooking the park.
  12. Rope bridges and zip lines connecting the tops of the buttes to the cliffs at the edge of the park.
  13. A main plaza area with commercial shops.
  14. Food and drink shops (restaurants, ice cream, snacks, smoothies, bars, etc.).
  15. A bike loop and separate running loop around upper level outer perimeter walkways.

 

General park admission (and parking) should be free.  Revenues for park upkeep would be partially generated by fees for reserved areas and fees from park businesses such as restaurants, shops, railroad rides, boat rentals, carousel, rock climbing, zip lines, amphitheater events, locker rooms, etc.

 

The park would be a great place to host large events and festivals up to once a month with music in the amphitheaters and booth areas located all around the Grand Promenade.

 

A fountain and light show could be developed with water spraying out of islands and buttes into the lake combined with colored lights and projectors for shows visible from many areas in the park.

 

attachicon.gifAstrodomeParkColorDrawing3Labeled.png

 

attachicon.gifAstrodomeParkSection.png

 

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Love the renderings. As a crazy ride, I think it would be awesome to include a reverse zip line that mimics what a homerun is... meaning you fly through the air on the same path as a homerun over the fence. They could even start where home plate initially sat.

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Love this!  Sent it to Judge Emmett's office (everybody should), Lisa Gray at the Chronicle, and will be blogging about it at some point at Houston Strategies.  This could really get the public excited about the concept and more supportive!

This should be sent to the Urban Land Institute. That is the nonprofit that Judge Emmett has hired to analyze and make recommendations on his park idea. They are going to come back with a comprehensive proposal for the property, and unless the author of the proposal being discussed here (ontheotherhand ?) interacts with that process his/her ideas will be ignored.

 

And just to add one more comment on the ski slope idea, all you who keep pushing this are living in a privilege bubble. You imagine that snow skiing is a mass recreation activity but it is an activity of an elite that can afford to go to real mountains and therefore would not support such a venue here where they would miss out on all of the travel, social activities and landscapes of real ski resorts. There simply are not enough people in Houston or even Texas who would patronize the venue you imagine. By the way, there was an attempt to build a ski slope in Houston many years ago. It was at the southwest corner of the 610W-59S interchange near the Galleria. It failed.

 

Also by the way, my ASTRODOME*TOMORROW proposal has not gone away, despite some of our partners evidently having bailed on such components as a STEM center. My proposal is for a park OUTSIDE, 80 to 100 acres as opposed to 8-9 acres inside. If you've never heard of this proposal, where have you been?

 

Finally, I'm attaching a couple of renderings just to stir up trouble. Park with 100-foot high interior perimeter wall covered in moving projected images of Earth from space, Mars, etc. See for reference: live ISS feed from orbit online as we speak.post-13614-0-26921400-1414085919_thumb.jpost-13614-0-51070000-1414086023_thumb.jpost-13614-0-92715900-1414086414_thumb.j

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I've got it--the Houston Museum of Houston at the Astrodome.

Visitors will get to experience the full history of the city through exhibits built throughout the building. At the center of the Dome is a life-size set-up in the actual baseball part with wax figures set up in a system where a game was played. Upstairs is a recreation of the private suite Hofheinz set up before it was gutted for additional seating.

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This should be sent to the Urban Land Institute. That is the nonprofit that Judge Emmett has hired to analyze and make recommendations on his park idea. They are going to come back with a comprehensive proposal for the property, and unless the author of the proposal being discussed here (ontheotherhand ?) interacts with that process his/her ideas will be ignored.

 

And just to add one more comment on the ski slope idea, all you who keep pushing this are living in a privilege bubble. You imagine that snow skiing is a mass recreation activity but it is an activity of an elite that can afford to go to real mountains and therefore would not support such a venue here where they would miss out on all of the travel, social activities and landscapes of real ski resorts. There simply are not enough people in Houston or even Texas who would patronize the venue you imagine. By the way, there was an attempt to build a ski slope in Houston many years ago. It was at the southwest corner of the 610W-59S interchange near the Galleria. It failed.

 

Also by the way, my ASTRODOME*TOMORROW proposal has not gone away, despite some of our partners evidently having bailed on such components as a STEM center. My proposal is for a park OUTSIDE, 80 to 100 acres as opposed to 8-9 acres inside. If you've never heard of this proposal, where have you been?

 

Finally, I'm attaching a couple of renderings just to stir up trouble. Park with 100-foot high interior perimeter wall covered in moving projected images of Earth from space, Mars, etc. See for reference: live ISS feed from orbit online as we speak.attachicon.gifgondola06.jpgattachicon.gifdome-int-park-earth01.jpgattachicon.gifAN-contest-board-cversm.jpg

 

The award goes to the sane person over here! Thank you very much for your contribution! I've actually never heard of this, but this is a fabulous idea. I'm not so sure about the massive image thing. I like the boldness of it, but would like to know how you put that into practice. I also think that mix-use development should also follow something like this. That way you are able to help anchor the landscape inside of a developed cityscape and it gives the vastness of this whole area some kind of proper edge instead of just ending at the streets. All and all though this is nice.

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I still stand by my proposal: The Houston Museum of Failed Astrodome Proposals.

The only problem is not having enough space.

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I love the fact there are currently 18 pages of contributions on this topic. It may the be the biggest thread ever on HAIF. To me, it means that there is still enough interest in this iconic structure that we want to follow it's journey, still have questions, and willing to share our ideas.

 

On November 20, 2014, we are having a screening of my 15 minute short subject documentary, Last Seat At The Dome, and will be followed by a 1 hour Q&A with myself, Judge Emmett, and other historians and preservationist to allow the public to ask questions about the past, present, and future of the Astrodome.  

 

I really hope all of you an join us.  You can get your FREE ticket by going to the event ticket page: CLICK HERE

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@ On The Other Hand - LOVE IT! That's what I'm talking about.

@ Montrose - Who would have ever guessed in 1933 that Alcatraz would ever be a tourists destination? Or the grungy old beaten up Fisherman's Wharf? Or Ellis Island? I would never try to predict what will be romanticized in the future. They were just ordinary buildings used for practical purposes.

I think the Astrodome has as good a chance as anything standing today to be a top visited landmark in the world in the future, if marketed correctly. It's certainly got a better chance than anything else in Houston. It's got historical relevance. It's big. People have already 'heard' about it outside of Houston. And even if it doesn't become a top visited landmark in the future, it could still be a usable, terrific public space for the locals to enjoy.

I strongly disagree that it's 'just a stadium'. If it was 'just a stadium' we wouldn't be having this discussion. It would have been torn down years ago like Texas Stadium. The Astrodome revolutionized stadiums. It helped put Houston on the map in the 1960's. It made people re-imagine what kinds of events could be held indoors. It represents an engineering milestone and is an unique architectural icon.

About what to do with it... Frankly, at this point, I'm tired of listening to wild ideas and cooler than cool hypotheticals of repurposing of the dome. To me it isn't about coming up with the coolest idea anymore, it's about coming up with the most REALISTIC cool idea that has a better chance of happening against an army of people who would just as soon see it become another 10 acres of additional parking.

People have been dreaming up cool ideas for 15 years and nothing happens. Granted, the park idea does not allow for the coolest or wildest structures to be built inside the dome or cater to any specialize group of people with a particular interest. I know many people love the idea of indoor skiing, water parks or casinos ect., because all of those things are more fun than just going to a park full of boring trees that just stand there and do nothing.

But the park idea works for me because it keeps the dome as an multipurpose usable venue. It's not about building something really cool inside the dome. The dome is already cool. It's about the events and fun activities that would be going on inside the dome - a climate controlled, comfortable environment that also has some notoriety and historic relevance. Do they need living trees and a park environment to hold special events inside the dome? I don't know, but the permanent living park idea certainly sounds more inviting and provides extra reason to want to go there or hold your event there instead of at another large, less ornamental indoor venue.

Holding a public event inside the dome could kind of be like holding a party on the Queen Mary only instead of a party it could be street fairs, big time festivals, farmers markets, concerts, conventions or any other traditionally held outdoor events that people travel to other parts of town to go to for weekend fun. The dome is so big, you could have different events held at once. There may be ideas of what to add inside or new types of events we haven't even thought up yet. The park idea has legs and would allow for growth.

The park idea would allow the dome to return to the days when it attracted a large variety of events. But instead of buying a ticket and sitting in seat to watch athletes and famous people do their stuff, the public would be on the floor, truly interacting with this unique space. Throw in the fact that famous people once did cool things on this ground and it only adds to the fun and novelty of being there.

You are over romanticizing the shit out of the dome. When it was built it was a cool feat of engineering.. But now practically every big city on the planet has a domed stadium. No one is going to go out of their way to visit ours. Not unless we put something super awesome in there to attract people.

Alcatraz is unique. Ellis island is unique. A domed stadium in 2014? Hell no.

It would be nothing like hosting an event on the queen Mary.

The dome is not that big. It barely held a football field.

To give you an idea of the demand to attend an event at the dome, how were ticket sales the last season the Astros played there?

Edited by cloud713

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I envision a park that would attract locals and tourists of all ages for walking, people watching, exploring, exercise, thrill seeking, relaxing, birthday parties, weddings, festivals, etc. with the following features:

  • A great lawn for events, picnics, and kids playing.
  • A lake fed by waterfalls connected to a circular river with small rental boats.
  • Trees and plants throughout including butterfly gardens.
  • A Grand Promenade that circles the park and smaller winding trails.
  • A playground, splash park, and carousel for kids.
  • A large climbing wall on a “cliff” at the edge of the park.
  • A mini railroad loop.
  • A large amphitheater and smaller amphitheater.
  • Shelters/areas that can be reserved for weddings, birthday parties, meetings, etc.
  • Loads of unreserved picnic tables and benches.
  • “Buttes” rising from the floor of the park with tunnels within and “caves” overlooking the park.
  • Rope bridges and zip lines connecting the tops of the buttes to the cliffs at the edge of the park.
  • A main plaza area with commercial shops.
  • Food and drink shops (restaurants, ice cream, snacks, smoothies, bars, etc.).
  • A bike loop and separate running loop around upper level outer perimeter walkways.

General park admission (and parking) should be free. Revenues for park upkeep would be partially generated by fees for reserved areas and fees from park businesses such as restaurants, shops, railroad rides, boat rentals, carousel, rock climbing, zip lines, amphitheater events, locker rooms, etc.

The park would be a great place to host large events and festivals up to once a month with music in the amphitheaters and booth areas located all around the Grand Promenade.

A fountain and light show could be developed with water spraying out of islands and buttes into the lake combined with colored lights and projectors for shows visible from many areas in the park.

AstrodomeParkColorDrawing3Labeled.png

AstrodomeParkSection.png

When I first saw this I instantly thought "NO!". But it is an interesting concept.. There seems to be enough variety that it's not so much an "indoor park" as it is an indoor entertainment destination. Though that seems to be exactly what smf and others were against when the ski slope idea was thought up, so I'm confused..

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I've got it.

 

Forget an indoor park... indoor ski slope... casino... Grand Hotel... Houston's Eiffel Tower... STEM museum... and all of the other unfunded ideas for adaptive reuse.  I say no to all of them.

 

The highest and best use for the Astrodome is to let it sit idle for another decade and a half..... and then...........

 

......make it a baseball stadium again.

 

 

Remember the Astros only played there 35 seasons. Minute Maid Park already has 15 seasons under its belt. Another decade or so and it'll be time to start planning the next home for the Astros.

 

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You are over romanticizing the shit out of the dome. When it was built it was a cool feat of engineering.. But now practically every big city on the planet has a domed stadium. No one is going to go out of their way to visit ours. Not unless we put something super awesome in there to attract people.

Alcatraz is unique. Ellis island is unique. A domed stadium in 2014? Hell no.

It would be nothing like hosting an event on the queen Mary.

The dome is not that big. It barely held a football field.

To give you an idea of the demand to attend an event at the dome, how were ticket sales the last season the Astros played there?

 

I like the idea of a park and a way to make the dome a great place to hold a variety of events. That rendering would allow for that, that's why I like it. A ski park is ridiculous and nothing but a childish fantasy. Unlike other stadiums, the dome set a standard and holds a special place in history and deserves to NOT be turned into something that would only appeal to half-wits with trashy taste and people with no regard for iconic architecture.

The Astrodome is just as unique as Alcatraz or Ellis Island. There is only ONE world's first domed stadium. There is no other dome on earth that looks like the Astrodome. It would be tragic if the county allowed the visionless, the confused and the utterly CLUELESS to turn Houston's most famous building into a cheap road side attraction.

Edited by SMF

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You are over romanticizing the shit out of the dome. When it was built it was a cool feat of engineering.. But now practically every big city on the planet has a domed stadium. No one is going to go out of their way to visit ours. Not unless we put something super awesome in there to attract people.

Alcatraz is unique. Ellis island is unique. A domed stadium in 2014? Hell no.

It would be nothing like hosting an event on the queen Mary.

The dome is not that big. It barely held a football field.

To give you an idea of the demand to attend an event at the dome, how were ticket sales the last season the Astros played there?

 

You may be under valuing the dome. Sure it's just a domed stadium, but it was the first. Alkatraz is a prison, what makes it unique compared to the hundreds of other prisons? Ellis island, that is indeed unique. I'd contend though that the dome is every bit as unique as alkatraz. It's every bit as unique as fisherman's wharf. There's hundreds of missions in and around San Antonio, only one is the Alamo, but all the others are just as protected (a really cool day trip through san antonio would be to go on the mission trail).

 

Alkatraz is a perfect example. If it had not been built up through marketing into a destination worth visiting it would be exactly what it is, a run down disused prison (there are hundreds of them littering our country, what makes that one special?).

 

So in your argument to show the dome as just another of what everyone else has, you've done a well enough job of illustrating why it's important to be keep it around. Some day there'll be little pewter astrodomes you can buy at thousands of random gift shops around the Houston area, some other city will have their own dilemma on destroying an iconic structure, and someone will use the dome as an example for why it should be preserved.

 

Should we demolish the San Jacinto Monument because, after all, there's another monument in DC, do we really need this one? How about the battleship Texas? Aren't there examples of other battleships littered around?

 

Obviously, the answer to both are clear, one stands as a monument to the final battle for Texas' independence of Mexico, the other stands as the only battleship to have fought in both world wars. For the latter it's an apocalyptic failure on the part of Houston to not better market that outside of Houston, or even in Houston. That thing should be as popular a visit for vacationers as any.

Edited by samagon
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Yes, there are other domed stadiums, but there is something iconic about being the first (like the Coliseum in Rome) as well as the beautiful geometric design of that roof.  I feel the same awe standing under it and looking up as I did when I was under the Eiffel Tower - they're both intricate designs of beauty as well as engineering marvels.

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I like the idea of a park and a way to make the dome a great place to hold a variety of events. That rendering would allow for that, that's why I like it. A ski park is ridiculous and nothing but a childish fantasy. Unlike other stadiums, the dome set a standard and holds a special place in history and deserves to NOT be turned into something that would only appeal to half-wits with trashy taste and people with no regard for iconic architecture.

The Astrodome is just as unique as Alcatraz or Ellis Island. There is only ONE world's first domed stadium. There is no other dome on earth that looks like the Astrodome. It would be tragic if the county allowed the visionless, the confused and the utterly CLUELESS to turn Houston's most famous building into a cheap road side attraction.

wow, did you just call us supporters of an indoor ski slope "half wits with trashy taste and people with no regard for iconic architecture"???

what makes people who enjoy skiing/snowboarding "half wits with trashy taste"? and "no regard for iconic architecture"? right.. thats why the guy dreamed up an idea to PRESERVE the dome. i think youve still got it twisted.. no one plans on putting a ski slope down the roof/outside of the dome. it would all be enclosed. no one driving by on 610 would know any different.

the astrodome is NOT as unique as ellis island or alcatraz. how many prisons are on an island? how many prisons were hyped up to be "unescapable"? and ellis island, well i shouldnt need to explain to you that all the people who immigrated to the US on ship stopped through there when they first got here..

 

You may be under valuing the dome. Sure it's just a domed stadium, but it was the first. Alkatraz is a prison, what makes it unique compared to the hundreds of other prisons? Ellis island, that is indeed unique. I'd contend though that the dome is every bit as unique as alkatraz. It's every bit as unique as fisherman's wharf. There's hundreds of missions in and around San Antonio, only one is the Alamo, but all the others are just as protected (a really cool day trip through san antonio would be to go on the mission trail).

 

Alkatraz is a perfect example. If it had not been built up through marketing into a destination worth visiting it would be exactly what it is, a run down disused prison (there are hundreds of them littering our country, what makes that one special?).

 

So in your argument to show the dome as just another of what everyone else has, you've done a well enough job of illustrating why it's important to be keep it around. Some day there'll be little pewter astrodomes you can buy at thousands of random gift shops around the Houston area, some other city will have their own dilemma on destroying an iconic structure, and someone will use the dome as an example for why it should be preserved.

 

Should we demolish the San Jacinto Monument because, after all, there's another monument in DC, do we really need this one? How about the battleship Texas? Aren't there examples of other battleships littered around?

 

Obviously, the answer to both are clear, one stands as a monument to the final battle for Texas' independence of Mexico, the other stands as the only battleship to have fought in both world wars. For the latter it's an apocalyptic failure on the part of Houston to not better market that outside of Houston, or even in Houston. That thing should be as popular a visit for vacationers as any.

nah, im just being realistic.. let me be clear. i love the dome and would be very sad if they destroyed it.. but to hype it up as something people would travel across the world to see is completely ridiculous. like i said earlier, i dont even know if my parents would travel up from Lake Jackson (45 minute drive) to attend an event at the dome. not unless it was a phenomenal artist playing, in which case they would of traveled all the way up to the Woodlands Pavilion to see them, so the dome is obviously not the main draw for them.

there are battles all across the world. but there is only one battle of the Alamo. its very significant for Texas' independence. those other missions in SA.. not so much. the fact that Alcatraz is on an isolated island in the middle of the bay in a major metropolitan area is pretty damn unique.. and it was world renown for being "unescapable".

is the San Jacinto monument in some sort of state of disrepair i dont know about? why would you even bring that up..? San Jacinto marked Texas' independence.. and you said Battleship Texas was the only battleship to fight in both world wars (the world wars effected HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of people. the astrodome has only left its mark on sentimental Houstonians.. (though thats more than enough reason to save it, if only for our city).

again. im totally down with saving the Dome. i just would rather see it be used for something that will be unique and draw people from near and far.

oh, and that "park"/entertainment design that guy drew up would never work inside the dome. the train tracks would be like 1000' long, and the event lawn would be like the size of an average suburban back yard. there just isnt enough space inside the dome for all that shit, AND thousands of people on the ground in there.

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The Astrodome left it's mark on many more people than just sentimental Houstonians. That you would even suggest otherwise proves you don't know what you are talking about. The prospect that the dome could be demolished has caught the attention of preservationists and people who live far away from Houston.

Look, the ski idea is NEVER GONNA HAPPEN. No one is even considering it. It's not on the table. It's not an option. If you were to pitch the idea to the county, you would be laughed out of the building. You are talking about putting something with VERY limited appeal and a questionable track record of profitability into Houston's most famous building with the hope that it will lure tourists - when every other city in America is about to build something similar. Indoor skiing can be built anywhere. Indoor skiing has the same kind of appeal as a water park or an amusement park. Not everyone likes skiing, water slides, bungee jumping or roller coasters. The park idea may or may not bring tourist to Houston on it's own merits (we won't know until it's built), but the events held in an indoor park inside Houston's most iconic building stands a much better chance of success and to bring in MANY more people, wherever they may come from and whatever they are there for. This is why it is being considered. This is why Judge Emmit is pushing it.

You can't keep ignoring the fact that half the people in Houston don't want any public money going into the dome at all. The park idea stands a chance because it would allow the dome to be developed gradually and instantly get the most bang for the buck. People can start using it right away and the county can start taking in revenue even if the entire park isn't developed yet. For the ski idea, it would have to be 100% privately financed. Now go find someone willing to commit millions of dollars in planning and development putting an indoor ski facility into a building that may not even be here in a couple of years. You would have a better chance of finding an investor to build an indoor ski facility on the other side of 610, where Astroworld used to be.

Now lets talk about being "REALISTIC".

Edited by SMF
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And just to add one more comment on the ski slope idea, all you who keep pushing this are living in a privilege bubble. You imagine that snow skiing is a mass recreation activity but it is an activity of an elite that can afford to go to real mountains and therefore would not support such a venue here where they would miss out on all of the travel, social activities and landscapes of real ski resorts. There simply are not enough people in Houston or even Texas who would patronize the venue you imagine. By the way, there was an attempt to build a ski slope in Houston many years ago. It was at the southwest corner of the 610W-59S interchange near the Galleria. It failed.

Yeah buddy, maybe back in the 80's... not every skier or snowboarder goes to Aspen. There are TONS of affordable options in Colorado and New Mexico.

 

Besides what child in Houston doesn't want to play in the snow? I stand behind my idea.

 

Edit: And no offense to OnTheOtherHand, but he/she wants to turn it into the honey I shrunk the kids playground at Disney World. 

 

 

Edited by Montrose1100
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Edit: And no offense to OnTheOtherHand, but he/she wants to turn it into the honey I shrunk the kids playground at Disney World.

Lmao.. It sounds great in theory, but the inside of the dome held a football field.. That's 1.322 acres in size. Even if they tore out all of the seats surrounding the old field, it would only be a couple acres in size. Ontheotherhands proposal is something I'm not even sure they could properly squeeze onto a piece of land the size of discovery green (12 acres), much less fit inside the dome. A rail road.. Really?

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Since financing is the issue, why don't they create an "Astrodome Parking Lot Redevelopment" TIRZ and sell/auction/lease off plots of the massive parking lot? Of course there would be stipulations/deed restrictions/zoning and of course minimum parking requirements. Create a walkable urban street grid. Surely with several dozen downtown size blocks created and developed the tax increment increase could fund just about whatever we wanted to do with the Dome. 

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrodome

This says the dome covers 9.5 acres. This wikipage is very interesting.

The Astrodome was designed by architects Hermon Lloyd & W. B. Morgan, and Wilson, Morris, Crain and Anderson. Structural engineering and structural design was performed by Walter P Moore Engineers and Consultants of Houston. It was constructed by H. A. Lott, Inc. for Harris County, Texas. It stands 18 stories tall, covering 9.5 acres (3.8 ha). The dome is 710 feet (220 m) in diameter and the ceiling is 208 feet (63 m) above the playing surface, which itself sits 25 feet (7.6 m) below street level.[6]

Edited by SMF

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrodome

This says the dome covers 9.5 acres. This wikipage is very interesting.

The Astrodome was designed by architects Hermon Lloyd & W. B. Morgan, and Wilson, Morris, Crain and Anderson. Structural engineering and structural design was performed by Walter P Moore Engineers and Consultants of Houston. It was constructed by H. A. Lott, Inc. for Harris County, Texas. It stands 18 stories tall, covering 9.5 acres (3.8 ha). The dome is 710 feet (220 m) in diameter and the ceiling is 208 feet (63 m) above the playing surface, which itself sits 25 feet (7.6 m) below street level.[6]

Are you going to rip out the existing seating decks and spend lots of money altering the superstructure?

All this.. along with the 4 spiral ramps...

astrodome_seating.gif

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alright, alright.. i think ive got something we can all hopefully agree on. a "Gaylord Resort @ the Dome" (forgive me if this has already been brought up. i cant be the first person to make the connection between the Gaylord signature atriums and the inside of the Dome.. maybe these are the "luxury hotels" the OP was referring to? i never went back to check). think about it. the dome and space underneath would make a perfect signature atrium for the hotel, and there would be enough room to put a few of the amenities ontheotherhand proposed, like a river walk, landscaped area, and what not.

they could raise the floor up to ground level and put the convention space Gaylord Resorts generally have in the basement level between the new floor and the old, lower floor. then build the hotel rooms into the seating deck, possibly tiered back as they go up along the angled decks, so that each set of rooms has a generous balcony overlooking the central atrium. or just tiered back a couple times, for where the levels of the seating decks change, and only have a few set backs, albeit much larger, and this time be more public outdoor space (instead of private set backs for each individual room), like maybe an amenity level with the hotel restaurant/buffet, pool area, gym, spa, ect. or maybe just lined with more retail and restaurants (i assume the ground level of this thing would be lined with retail/restaurants facing the atrium).


LocalTravel_Gaylord.jpg

http://www.dfwchild.com/features/211/Grapevines-Gaylord-Texan-Hotel

4880707691_36a41e8145.jpg

Edited by cloud713

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Are you going to rip out the existing seating decks and spend lots of money altering the superstructure?

All this.. along with the 4 spiral ramps...

astrodome_seating.gif

 

The point is that there is 9.5 acres of space to work with INSIDE the dome. I'm fairly sure that ripping out the seating decks is an option. Although, I would hope that whatever they do, they are able to use some of the dome's height to maximize floor space so keeping the decks would seem to be a good idea IMO.

A Gaylord Hotel-like proposal was one of the first ideas rejected. The Texans and the Rodeo got the blame for rejecting it but I'm sure it went deeper than that. Probably had more to do with no one willing to invest in the idea. I thought it was a shame they couldn't make it happen, I think it would have been cool.

No offense, but it's hard having a discussion with someone who never even bothers to collect any facts or even reads previous postings before commenting and then has the nerve to offer any assessment of the Astrodome's legacy or future. Seriously, did you not know about the original Gaylord-like proposal?

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Astrodome-hotel-plan-includes-610-exit-ramp-1488657.php

Off topic - Cloud, I'm curious, have you ever even been inside the dome in your entire life? Have you ever seen the ceiling from the inside? Please tell me you have, even if you have to lie.

You just don't seem to get it. The county is not looking for new ideas for what to do with the dome anymore. They are ESPECIALLY not looking for old ones like the Gaylord idea. Proposal time is over for the time being.

Although my posts directed at you may come out sounding harsh. I do admire the fact you want them to do what you think is best for the dome. Ultimately, I think we are on the same side of this issue. Saving the dome is what I really care about. I think the park sounds like a solid and realistic plan to get people into the dome again and have it used and appreciated by the masses.

Edited by SMF

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Time is clicking!  Let's do something with the dome.  Go ahead and make it a park.  At least that would be a start, if not the final plan for the dome.  It will move along better if it gets out of the talking stage and into the action stage.

Edited by uscats35
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The point is that there is 9.5 acres of space to work with INSIDE the dome. I'm fairly sure that ripping out the seating decks is an option. Although, I would hope that whatever they do, they are able to use some of the dome's height to maximize floor space so keeping the decks would seem to be a good idea IMO.

A Gaylord Hotel-like proposal was one of the first ideas rejected. The Texans and the Rodeo got the blame for rejecting it but I'm sure it went deeper than that. Probably had more to do with no one willing to invest in the idea. I thought it was a shame they couldn't make it happen, I think it would have been cool.

No offense, but it's hard having a discussion with someone who never even bothers to collect any facts or even reads previous postings before commenting and then has the nerve to offer any assessment of the Astrodome's legacy or future. Seriously, did you not know about the original Gaylord-like proposal?

http://images.chron.com/photos/2005/08/17/2885413/311xInlineGallery.jpg

Off topic - Cloud, I'm curious, have you ever even been inside the dome in your entire life? Have you ever seen the ceiling from the inside? Please tell me you have, even if you have to lie.

You just don't seem to get it. The county is not looking for new ideas for what to do with the dome anymore. They are ESPECIALLY not looking for old ones like the Gaylord idea. Proposal time is over for the time being.

Although my posts directed at you may come out sounding harsh. I do admire the fact you want them to do what you think is best for the dome. Ultimately, I think we are on the same side of this issue. Saving the dome is what I really care about. I think the park sounds like a solid and realistic plan to get people into the dome again and have it used and appreciated by the masses.

now wait a second. who said there was 9.5 acres "to work with" INSIDE the dome? i took it as that was the entire footprint of the structure.

well my bad for not following every dome proposal throughout the last decade+.. i was still a teenager back in 2005 and had my mind on car fumes and perfumes. no offense, but its hard having a discussion with someone who calls anyone who is against his opinion a "half wit" who "doesnt appreciate architecture". seriously.. get off your high horse. 

of course ive been inside the dome. ive seen many astros games in there, rodeo events, even a few oilers games.

i do seem to get it. the park idea TOTALLY SUCKS. anyone who supports that shit is either a half wit or doesnt appreciate architecture. :rolleyes: i dont want to see them put something in there that will be a failure, spending hundreds of millions of our tax payer dollars, only to end up demolishing it in the end anyways. we deserve better than some silly indoor park. especially in that horrible location. NO ONE LIVES THERE. the few people who do live in that area are generally vagrants and undesirables that you wouldnt want lurking around your park anyways. if this were an old stadium in downtown, or uptown, or anywhere near people, it could work. but in the middle of one of the biggest parking lots on earth? youre going to need a lot more than just some silly indoor park to draw people to that thing..

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While it's refreshing to have a duo other than Slick Vik and IronTiger fighting it out... Can we tone it down a bit guys?

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While it's refreshing to have a duo other than Slick Vik and IronTiger fighting it out... Can we tone it down a bit guys?

lmao.. agreed. i just dont care for that guy coming into the forums and acting like he runs the place. hes been here for all of a month and he thinks its ok to start taking pot shots and calling people names?

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@ Cloud - There is 9.5 acres of space inside the dome. I don't know how I can make that any clearer. They can do whatever they want, use part of it, use all of it, the existing open area, the footprint, whatever. What's the problem?

The park idea has the backing of one of the most powerful persons in Harris County and a lot of people like it because it would make the Astrodome an attractive place to hold events. It is the best chance we have to save the dome right now - and a GOOD one.



Of course the Astrodome park would not be the kind of park that local residents would be using to walk their dog. It would be a destination. It would be the Astrodome - with a park atmosphere to attract special events. Events that people would either drive to or take LRT to get to. I'm sorry that I keep over-estimating your capacity to 'get it'.



If the park idea is silly (and maybe it is a little silly), ideas like the indoor fake ski hill are off-the-charts asinine. There is NO CHANCE IN A MILLION YEARS that the Astrodome will be saved by building a ski slope in it. NOBODY in authority is even considering it. 

Edited by Subdude

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@ Cloud - There is 9.5 acres of space inside the dome. I don't know how I can make that any clearer.

because its not that clear..? the article says the astrodome stands 18 stories tall and covers 9.5 acres. sounds to me like they are describing the exterior dimensions..

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9.5 acres = 413,000 sq ft  No doubt that a smaller number than that is the actual unobstructed flat "playing field" space.  Clearly with all the levels and multiple zones within the Dome we'd come up with a larger square footage than 413,000.

 

Now, what I'm curious about SMF is why do you think the ski-slope/hill idea is so bad?  I'm not arguing for it or against it (though it would be unique), I'm just curious why you feel so vehemently against that idea.  I mean you're nearly fighting it.  Why?

 

The Dome Park proposal will fail if it is not a destination park for average Houston citizens and metro-wide residents.  Its not like a covered park is going to attract millions per year.  At least not the way that it has been proposed.

 

I still maintain my idea that converting it into some sort of refrigerated Alpine environment with the temperatures of say a Jackson Hole, Wy. would be really fantastic... the problem of course is maintaining the temperatures and climatic feel of the space.

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http://www.columbia.edu/cu/gsapp/BT/DOMES/HOUSTON/h-unusua.html

 

Area of a circle = πR2

 

Diameter of the outside of the Dome is 712 (or 710 from the same link). Therefore the radius is 356 ft.

 

(3562)π=398,152.89 ft2

 

An acre is 43,560 ft2

 

Dividing the two yields 9.14033 acres that the Dome's footprint occupies.

 

Thanks for that!  I was looking for something with an actual figure on the square footage of the Dome, and after I exhausted my interest in the first couple of links I found...  I gave up.

 

I wonder where the 9.5 acres came from?  Probably the surrounding lawn?

 

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Thanks for that!  I was looking for something with an actual figure on the square footage of the Dome, and after I exhausted my interest in the first couple of links I found...  I gave up.

 

I wonder where the 9.5 acres came from?  Probably the surrounding lawn?

 

 

Wikipedia...

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@ Cloud - It seems clear enough to me. I've seen that figure written in a other few articles and it seems totally believable to me. You can tell by just looking at google maps arial photos that the dome roof covers about 9.5 acres. 7.43 seems believable to me as well.

Remind me again why it matters anyway? They can put a park in the dome if it's 9.5 acres or it's 9.5 square feet if they want to. They can plop trees and grass on several layers seating decks if they want to or just keep it no bigger than the baseball field used to be - which is what I would expect them to do. I would expect them to start small and add stuff. I would hope there is a master plan, but I would also hope that they would use the existing seating decks as a way to increase the amount of usable space. Maybe if a park is put in the existing open space at first, those seating decks could be used for other amenities in the future - maybe even restaurants, hotel rooms or something no one's thought up yet. Like I said before the park idea has legs.

The diagram that was posted earlier is just one idea. There are an infinite number of ways to make a creative interesting indoor park work in the Astrodome space.

Edited by SMF

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9.5 acres = 413,000 sq ft  No doubt that a smaller number than that is the actual unobstructed flat "playing field" space.  Clearly with all the levels and multiple zones within the Dome we'd come up with a larger square footage than 413,000.

 

Now, what I'm curious about SMF is why do you think the ski-slope/hill idea is so bad?  I'm not arguing for it or against it (though it would be unique), I'm just curious why you feel so vehemently against that idea.  I mean you're nearly fighting it.  Why?

 

The Dome Park proposal will fail if it is not a destination park for average Houston citizens and metro-wide residents.  Its not like a covered park is going to attract millions per year.  At least not the way that it has been proposed.

 

I still maintain my idea that converting it into some sort of refrigerated Alpine environment with the temperatures of say a Jackson Hole, Wy. would be really fantastic... the problem of course is maintaining the temperatures and climatic feel of the space.

 

I know I've said all this before, but since you asked and don't feel like clicking back a couple of pages, here is a summery. NO it's o.k. I really don't mind at all.

1. Time is running out. (the wolf is at the door)

2. Skiing isn't a realistic option. (needs 100% private investor - I don't see anyone volunteering money to this)

3. No one with any power is considering it. (proposal time is over)

4. Prefab skiing has limited appeal. (tourist will be doing this in their own towns)

5. Indoor park has more uses, flexibility, ect. (potential to attract a wide variety of events, interests and people)

6. Indoor park can evolve, grow and expand. (today it's a park, tomorrow they add a hotel or something if planned correctly)

7. Astrodome deserves better than a fly-by-night, financially risky, glorified carnival attraction. (a park is more classic - parks appeal to everyone -skiing does not)

I'm sure I'll think up some more reasons later.

Edited by SMF

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Why can't we fuse Cloud and SMF's ideas together? Create an indoor alpine park with a ski run? That would draw people from across the globe. Snow in Texas year round--not just to ski mind you, but to wander thru, to buy a cup of hot chocolate, to people watching, to ice skate, to build snow men with the kids, and to ski (more of a bunny hill perhaps, but hey, at it's best you're only getting 200 feet of drop anyhow). Same concept, free entry, pay for amenities like the ski run, skating, zip-line, etc.

 

And an Alpine shopping village mall is a must as well. Tourists like to shop. Rent will help off set the massive cost of air temperature modification and snow creation. And I still say create a TIRZ that will develop the surrounding parking lot into a mid-rise neighborhood with GFR and parking garages. And let's be honest, wouldn't it be sensational to do Christmas shopping in a mall that looked like Santa's hometown? Personally, I'm crossing my fingers that this is the new mall the BFS is talking about in another thread.

 

Go big or go home. This is the Astrodome. The Eighth Wonder of the World. Do something that no one else anywhere the world over can or will do. Making the Dome into the world's largest freezer would be spectacular!

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Why can't we fuse Cloud and SMF's ideas together? Create an indoor alpine park with a ski run? That would draw people from across the globe. Snow in Texas year round--not just to ski mind you, but to wander thru, to buy a cup of hot chocolate, to people watching, to ice skate, to build snow men with the kids, and to ski (more of a bunny hill perhaps, but hey, at it's best you're only getting 200 feet of drop anyhow). Same concept, free entry, pay for amenities like the ski run, skating, zip-line, etc.

And an Alpine shopping village mall is a must as well. Tourists like to shop. Rent will help off set the massive cost of air temperature modification and snow creation. And I still say create a TIRZ that will develop the surrounding parking lot into a mid-rise neighborhood with GFR and parking garages. And let's be honest, wouldn't it be sensational to do Christmas shopping in a mall that looked like Santa's hometown? Personally, I'm crossing my fingers that this is the new mall the BFS is talking about in another thread.

Go big or go home. This is the Astrodome. The Eighth Wonder of the World. Do something that no one else anywhere the world over can or will do. Making the Dome into the world's largest freezer would be spectacular!

I didn't come up with the ski idea..but yeah, I basically assumed all the amenities you just listed/described were a given for any ski related venue. Obviously skiing/snowboarding, but also tubing/sledding, snowball fights, ice skating, heck.. There could be horse sleigh rides and/or dog sledding around the outer concourse loop.

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I know I've said all this before, but since you asked and don't feel like clicking back a couple of pages, here is a summery. NO it's o.k. I really don't mind at all.

 

Yeah.  That is pretty much it.  I'm lazy and don't feel like clicking through 3-4 pages and 20 posts trying to find a summery of your reasons for not building an indoor ski-slope...

 

Clearly the Astrodome is a hot topic in this town, and clearly its deserving of some sort of re-use.  Aside from my Alpine bio-dome idea (which is probably way too expensive - though I see a future in that sort of thing in 20-30 years), I've long felt the best re-use is a sports re-use.  We missed the boat with the US Mens National soccer team training facility, why not repurpose it for an Olympic training facility?  That could include trainers rooms, medical rooms, weights, aerobic training center, dormitories, non track and field spaces (for gymnasts etc.).  Sure that would be a hefty re-fit/renovation, but we're talking about a fairly extensive renovation to begin with.

 

It seems that the county people have completley taken this reasonable (you can phase it as deemed necessary) off the boards.  Why?  Why not re-use a stadium for sports related purposes?  Seems odd.

 

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