Jump to content
gambitx

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


Recommended Posts

Wait, What’s Going On With the Astrodome Now?

https://www.houstoniamag.com/articles/2019/3/25/whats-going-on-with-the-astrodome

 

But also:

https://www.click2houston.com/news/what-s-the-astrodome-renovation-timeline-

 

The second article states that there really isn't a set timetable moving forward, but that work is happening now to remove asbestos from the building. This has to take place before any major construction can take place.

Edited by CaptainJilliams

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is beyond frustrating. The county court voted in February 2018 to spend the money and do the renovation. Now a 28-year-old first-time county judge throws the whole thing into limbo. The comments from her office that this is not really important to them and they have no idea when they'll get around to looking at it suggest to me that someone is waiting to have their palm greased.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/13/2019 at 3:42 PM, CaptainJilliams said:

Wait, What’s Going On With the Astrodome Now?

https://www.houstoniamag.com/articles/2019/3/25/whats-going-on-with-the-astrodome

 

But also:

https://www.click2houston.com/news/what-s-the-astrodome-renovation-timeline-

 

The second article states that there really isn't a set timetable moving forward, but that work is happening now to remove asbestos from the building. This has to take place before any major construction can take place.

 

I think this sums it up (from the article above)

 

Quote

So what can we expect going forward?

More waiting! “This is really on the back burner for us at this juncture,” Kiran Khalid, Hidalgo’s director of communications, told Houstonia. She explained that county priorities currently include how to best disburse last year’s $2.5 billion Harvey flood bond to affected communities, and the criminal-justice reform proposals Hidalgo campaigned on. The county is “still working through the plan details” with project managers to determine how to approach the Dome’s air-conditioning issue, among others. The path forward remains hazy, in other words, but Khalid made one thing quite clear: “Speculating on what will happen with the Astrodome and when is not at the top of mind for us.

 

Edited by august948
  • Like 2
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s going to get done, just not as soon as we want it to. We have to hold Hidalgo to her campaign promises first. I honestly see the Dome ready by 2021 HLSR. 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of new developments.  Word has it that the Astrodome is now undergoing a huge cleaning out and it appears that things are moving over there.  Does anyone have any updates of photos to share?  I seldom get by there and I would love to see the changes happening.  Thanks everyone !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/shows/houston-matters/2019/07/09/338908/recent-developments-offer-new-hope-for-alternate-plan-for-the-astrodome/

 

It seemed like plans were settled to re-purpose the

 Astrodome as an indoor parking and event space. But, as recently elected Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said on this program back in January, there’s not enough money for the building’s air conditioning.

That has left some questions about the state of the project – enough to revive one architect’s dream for a different course for the dome.

We’ve talked with James Richards before about his concept, called A-Dome Park, which you can see a visualization of in this Arts InSight segment from 2016.

But, in the audio above, he tells Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty why he has new hope – and refreshes our memories on the idea to transform the dome into an active, open-air urban park with a walking/running trail spiraling its way to the top of the historic structure.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People keep wanting the park idea, so how about they just keep the structure intact and make it an indoor park?

Scrap off the paint on the plexiglass on the roof, replant the special grass strand, and boom all season park

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎7‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 1:32 PM, cspwal said:

People keep wanting the park idea, so how about they just keep the structure intact and make it an indoor park?

Scrap off the paint on the plexiglass on the roof, replant the special grass strand, and boom all season park

 

That's basically the present plan that Emmett put through.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎7‎/‎19‎/‎2019 at 11:22 AM, H-Town Man said:

 

That's basically the present plan that Emmett put through.

 

 

Any new developments as of yet ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Blue Dogs said:

 

Any new developments as of yet ?

 

I don't think anything new has come to light since august948's post on April 18th.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

So it looks like Emmett's plan has definitely been scrapped by Ms. Hidalgo. Doubtful if anything ever gets done while she's in office, based on her comments.

 

https://www.click2houston.com/news/2019/11/20/what-happened-to-potential-plans-for-the-astrodome/

 

 

From the article...

Quote

 

Hidalgo said she also felt the idea for a parking garage would not work.

“If you put in more parking you’re just going to get more congestion,” said Hidalgo.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, august948 said:

 

From the article...

 

 

You posted a quote as if it contradicts something that I said. It seems to make no sense at all. What sort of "congestion" does a parking garage create? The idea was to give visitors a place to park since the Rodeo and the Texans won't allow them to use Reliant Park parking.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

You posted a quote as if it contradicts something that I said. It seems to make no sense at all. What sort of "congestion" does a parking garage create? The idea was to give visitors a place to park since the Rodeo and the Texans won't allow them to use Reliant Park parking.

 

Wasn't intending to contradict anything.  Just thought the Judge's party-line comment was interesting.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tear down the bleachers and rebuild shorter ones, and turn it in a multi-sport venue that can also hold conventions, concerts, the rodeo, etc. Imagine having amateur or club sport events like cricket, lacrosse, soccer, etc, there.

 

I wonder if it would be possible to remove the upper half of the walls with slatted operable windows that let in natural air. Then hang large ducted fans similar to those used in highway tunnels to facilitate constant if slow moving airflow. Similar to how you can cool a gaming PC case with only two very small fans and vents that are relatively obstructed, only on a humongous scale. The window shutters could close in the event of rain or high winds, and the direction the fans blow could be adjusted by a computerized system that takes into consideration outside wind.

 

This would essentially lower operational costs of the building by getting rid of the need for air conditioning and help shift things in favor of keeping it. As long as it had moving air to avoid a greenhouse effect, being in the shade should keep it at acceptable temperatures even in the summer. If the inside was going to be gutted and redone, the future seats could have automatic sliding doors to the mezzanine so it could have AC.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only ideas that make sense start with total demolition. 
 

I propose it be made into some sort of outdoor venue, like a large amphitheater for concerts. As an example, see the renovations for the Pacific Amphitheater at OC fairgrounds. This will add greenspace, and compliment other programming within NRG park/stadium, particularly during the Rodeo. 
 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep it on topic please.  Political discussions are fine in the appropriate forum section.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Three half serious thoughts come to mind on this farce:

 

  • Maybe for the twentieth anniversary of its last functional use, we can have some sort of celebration. 
  • It's entirely possible that it will sit unused in stadium purgatory for longer than two successive Rangers stadiums in Arlington were used by the franchise (22 seasons for Arlington Stadium, 26 seasons for whatever they called the thing that opened in 1994), take that Dallas! 
  • At this point, it seems the county's plan is to wait for everyone that has good memories of the place to die off so as to minimize political blowback on whoever the county judge is at the time the physical structure succumbs to neglect and gravity. 
Edited by Nate99
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's kind of the one thing that Emmett did that I didn't like; whether you agree with the decision or not, the Harris County voters spoke in 2013 when they voted against the bond proposal, but Emmett pretty much said "forget them, we're going to spend a lot of money on the Astrodome anyway." So I'm glad to see Hidalgo shelve that idea, but she needs to do something and not just let it continue to molder for several more years, the right thing to do is rip the bandaid off and tear the thing down. It's time to just say goodbye. The original Yankee Stadium was even more storied than the Astrodome, but NYC didn't keep it around when the built the new one. We've now built two new venues to replace the Astrodome's purpose, and it hasn't been used in at least a dozen years, and it's been sitting there disintegrating all this time. Several proposed plans to put the building to a reuse have failed to come to fruition. The site could be put to so many better uses, and in the meantime the county is paying all sorts of costs to keep it around, not to mention the lost opportunity cost of selling off the land or putting it to a revenue generating use. There's preservation, and then there's just foolish sentimentality.

Edited by Reefmonkey
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/14/2020 at 3:40 PM, Reefmonkey said:

That's kind of the one thing that Emmett did that I didn't like; whether you agree with the decision or not, the Harris County voters spoke in 2013 when they voted against the bond proposal, but Emmett pretty much said "forget them, we're going to spend a lot of money on the Astrodome anyway." So I'm glad to see Hidalgo shelve that idea, but she needs to do something and not just let it continue to molder for several more years, the right thing to do is rip the bandaid off and tear the thing down. It's time to just say goodbye. The original Yankee Stadium was even more storied than the Astrodome, but NYC didn't keep it around when the built the new one. We've now built two new venues to replace the Astrodome's purpose, and it hasn't been used in at least a dozen years, and it's been sitting there disintegrating all this time. Several proposed plans to put the building to a reuse have failed to come to fruition. The site could be put to so many better uses, and in the meantime the county is paying all sorts of costs to keep it around, not to mention the lost opportunity cost of selling off the land or putting it to a revenue generating use. There's preservation, and then there's just foolish sentimentality.

 

It hasn't really disintegrated at all, in fact it's been somewhat spruced up. Where did you get the info that it's been disintegrating?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe it's been f

12 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

It hasn't really disintegrated at all, in fact it's been somewhat spruced up. Where did you get the info that it's been disintegrating?

 

 

Several years ago the Houston Fire Marshal declared the Dome unsafe for human entry. Has that status changed?

 

 

https://deadspin.com/what-the-astrodome-looks-like-after-sitting-untouched-a-5899025

 

 

Quote

Houston Press went along for the tour, highly controlled because there's crumbling concrete and rusted metal everywhere

 

 

 

Edited by Reefmonkey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Reefmonkey said:

Maybe it's been f

 

Several years ago the Houston Fire Marshal declared the Dome unsafe for human entry. Has that status changed?

 

 

https://deadspin.com/what-the-astrodome-looks-like-after-sitting-untouched-a-5899025

 

 

 

 

 

 

I went through their photo gallery and did not see anything beyond a torn seat cushion and some surface rust in certain places. Sounds like the Houston Press is being a little dramatic, which is to be expected from them. The county has said numerous times that it is structurally in excellent shape and could last another 50 or 100 years. Any place that has sat vacant is going to look bad cosmetically but what counts is "the bones," as they say in real estate, and the Astrodome's bones are fine.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, West Timer said:

...and then there's just foolish destruction.

It's in a great location, I think if it were so worth saving, we'd have a viable solution by now. It's not like it's been for lack of trying.

Edited by Reefmonkey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just because we haven't found a use for the dome by now,  that doesn't mean we NEVER will. It might take more time than YOU may be willing to give it, but that doesn't mean OTHERS have to give up trying. Even if they never find a use for the Astrodome I don't want it torn down. NOT EVERYTHING can be measured in dollars. Sentiment DOES have value. Especially in a place that doesn't have much sentiment to start with.

 

Better uses? In all likelihood, what would have once been the ground the Astrodome now stands will be a beautiful, brand new, all-purpose, highly useful parking lot. Houston has millions of those (you can now park where useless old Astroworld used to be).  But Houston does not have any structure that comes close to the uniqueness and cultural relevance as the Astrodome. Say what you want, but to me the best thing Houston has regarding it's place in the world (outside providing jobs) is that fact we just love to build buildings (our skyline is becoming a monster). So I think we should have at least ONE building that stands apart from all others. That is what the Astrodome is. 

 

In all of Houston's history I don't think we ever built anything as unique and revolutionary or anything that ever achieved the world fame that the Astrodome did in its day. I think the Dome represents Houston at its best. Yes it's old, yes it's useless. But it's worth preserving. We are not a poor city. We can afford to keep it standing until a new use can be found. But even if a practical use is never found, it still has value. I know that the Astrodome means nothing to a lot of people in Houston and even less to people who moved here from somewhere else or who don't give a crap about anything outside the perimeter of their own front lawns. But I think they are being short-sighted and cheap and forget that money isn't the only thing of value in world. Feeling good about something also has value. Home town pride has value.

 

Yankee Stadium? New York City has dozens of culturally relevant buildings. Houston does not.  Maybe a parking lot is as important to you as the world's first indoor stadium and preserving a grand scale shrine to mid-century architecture. But it's hard to imagine Houston ever building anything in the future that will ever come close to being the potential world icon that the Astrodome could become to Houston with a little love and good marketing. I know, it's not Buckingham Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral or the Eiffel Tower but it's going to be the closest thing Houston will probably ever get to it. We can't just tear it down like it never meant anything to anyone. What it represents to Houston's place in history is irreplaceable.

 

As much as I enjoy NRG stadium and Minute Maid Park, I'd rather see them torn down than the Astrodome. I'd rather the Astrodome become a dilapidated eyesore like the Roman Coliseum Ruins for the next hundred years or so than to see it torn down and replaced with a parking lot. Whatever it takes as long as it's still standing because even a century from now the Astrodome will likely will still be the only thing Houston ever contributed to the elevation of world architecture and building technology. 

 

 

Edited by West Timer
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

 

I went through their photo gallery and did not see anything beyond a torn seat cushion and some surface rust in certain places. Sounds like the Houston Press is being a little dramatic, which is to be expected from them. The county has said numerous times that it is structurally in excellent shape and could last another 50 or 100 years. Any place that has sat vacant is going to look bad cosmetically but what counts is "the bones," as they say in real estate, and the Astrodome's bones are fine.

 

 

To be honest, I'm not sure I trust the county on this, this is the same county that ignored the will of the voters, and when they did, announced a $105 million plan that didn't include the cost to replace the air conditioning system, which is estimated to be in the tens of millions. It seems too much of a pet project for Emmett, who traveled overseas on Harris County taxpayers' dime to go see an abandoned zepplin terminal that had been turned into a rainforest and water park (neither of which it would make sense to do for the Astrodome), to be objective and transparent about the real condition of the Astrodome. I wouldn't put it past the county under Emmett to downplay problems with the Astrodome at all.

 

What were the revenue projections for the dome after the $105 million plan? I know the county has said it would cost $40 million to demolish it (and again, at this point, I wouldn't put it past the county under Emmett to have forwarded an inflated number to dissuade voters from pushing for demolition). If it is a matter of $40 million to demolish and then sell to someone who would put in something tailor-made for generating revenue for the new owner, plus tax revenue for the county, vs mid $100s millions spent shoehorning a new use into an existing structure that might be an imperfect fit for it and hamper its revenue generation potential, then the latter seems like an expensive gamble.

 

I'm also having a little deja vue on this whole idea of voters rejecting a bond initiative for a stadium, so the authority put forth a revised proposal that was half the cost. Look what happened to Katy ISD voters. They rejected a bond proposal that called for spending $70 on a new stadium, so the district came up with a new proposal that "only" called for spending $58 million. But wouldn't you know it, with cost overruns, the ultimate price tag of the stadium ended up being $72 million. First Emmett says we need to spend $217 million, voters reject that, so he says "okay, we'll do something that only costs $105 million" - but neglects to mention that doesn't include tens of millions more for air conditioning costs. I wonder what other "unanticipated" costs would have popped up to drive the total bill close to if not over the amount Harris County voters already rejected?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quit making up your own fake news, reefmonkey. I have no more reason to trust YOUR assessment of the dome than the county's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, West Timer said:

Just because we haven't found a use for the dome by now,  that doesn't mean we NEVER will. It might take more time than YOU may be willing to give it, but that doesn't mean OTHERS have to give up trying. Even if they never find a use for the Astrodome I don't want it torn down. NOT EVERYTHING can be measured in dollars. Sentiment DOES have value. Especially in a place that doesn't have much sentiment to start with.

 

Better uses? In all likelihood, what would have once been the ground the Astrodome now stands will be a beautiful, brand new, all-purpose, highly useful parking lot. Houston has millions of those (you can now park where useless old Astroworld used to be).  But Houston does not have any structure that comes close to the uniqueness and cultural relevance as the Astrodome. Say what you want, but to me the best thing Houston has regarding it's place in the world (outside providing jobs) is that fact we just love to build buildings (our skyline is becoming a monster). So I think we should have at least ONE building that stands apart from all others. That is what the Astrodome is. 

 

In all of Houston's history I don't think we ever built anything as unique and revolutionary or anything that ever achieved the world fame that the Astrodome did in its day. I think the Dome represents Houston at its best. Yes it's old, yes it's useless. But it's worth preserving. We are not a poor city. We can afford to keep it standing until a new use can be found. But even if a practical use is never found, it still has value. I know that the Astrodome means nothing to a lot of people in Houston and even less to people who moved here from somewhere else or who don't give a crap about anything outside the perimeter of their own front lawns. But I think they are being short-sighted and cheap and forget that money isn't the only thing of value in world. Feeling good about something also has value. Home town pride has value.

 

Yankee Stadium? New York City has dozens of culturally relevant buildings. Houston does not.  Maybe a parking lot is as important to you as the world's first indoor stadium and preserving a grand scale shrine to mid-century architecture. But it's hard to imagine Houston ever building anything in the future that will ever come close to being the potential world icon that the Astrodome could become to Houston with a little love and good marketing. I know, it's not Buckingham Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral or the Eiffel Tower but it's going to be the closest thing Houston will probably ever get to it. We can't just tear it down like it never meant anything to anyone. What it represents to Houston's place in history is irreplaceable.

 

As much as I enjoy NRG stadium and Minute Maid Park, I'd rather see them torn down than the Astrodome. I'd rather the Astrodome become a dilapidated eyesore like the Roman Coliseum Ruins for the next hundred years or so. Whatever it takes as long as it's still standing because even a century from now the Astrodome will likely will still be the only thing Houston ever contributed to the elevation of world architecture and building technology. 

 

 

 

That was a beautiful emotional plea, but unfortunately, that's all it was. It's been over 20 years since the Dome ceased serving its original function, over 12 since it ceased serving any active function, and in that time there have been many options seriously considered, and rejected, so the implication that I am being especially impatient is ridiculous. The Pollyannish idea that somehow in some unforeseeable future maybe someone will come up with viable use for it is the same rationalization hoarders use as they turn their homes into cluttered firetraps. Which, according to the City of Houston Fire Marshal, is what the Astrodome is.

7 minutes ago, West Timer said:

Quit making up your own fake news, reefmonkey. I have no more reason to trust YOUR assessment of the dome than the county's.

 

Well that was unhinged. Can you actually point to anything that I asserted as fact that you can dispute the veracity of?

Edited by Reefmonkey
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's function is that it exist. Mind blowing isn't it? And it still exist for a reason. You underestimate the value of sentiment. All your 'tear it down' talk over the years hasn't made it go away. As I said I don't care if they ever find a use for it that satisfies you. You are incapable of seeing the big picture so I'm not sure you're worth any more of my time. I made my case for saving the dome. Luckily I'm not alone.

 

"To be honest, I'm not sure I trust the county on this... blah, blah, blah...

Now that's what I call fake news. It just your opinion. Nothing more. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All the images you post in place of actual arguments, no matter how big you make them, all the argumentum ad lapidem retorts and ipse dixit assertions you make, they don't hide the fact that you don't have a cogent argument to make, they lay that fact bare.

 

You can say all you want over and over that "no one voted to demolish the dome", but that doesn't change the fact that Ed Emmett, the PAC formed to promote the bond election, and numerous other pro-preservation groups spent a lot of time and money telling Harris voters that if they voted against the referendum, they would in fact be voting to demolish the Dome, and they did just that. When the author of a referendum who is also in charge of managing the Dome tells you that a vote against his referendum is a vote for demolishing the dome, and you vote against the referendum, you are in fact voting to demolish the dome. You can't counter this with any logical argument, so you don't even try, instead, you just say "it wasn't a vote to demolish the dome because I said it wasn't." Emmett said it was, and he and his people spent a chunk of change to make sure Harris voters knew that. How can I make that any clearer to you?

 

The dome was initially kept around to be able to tout it as another venue for a failed Olympics bid. Beyond that, Indecision and inaction, not sentiment, is what has kept the building standing vacant and un-repurposed for over 20 years. Your confidence that this won't change over the foreseeable future is based on nothing - after Harvey few thought Emmett would be ousted the very next year, but he was, and his Astrodome boondoggle after voters rejected his 2013 referendum played a part in that. And now that he is out as the champion of the Dome, your "foreseeable future" isn't worth the current ticket price to see an event in the Astrodome. And you know it. That's why you've ramped up the posturing to a fever pitch.

 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is for the reasonable, intelligent people who may be following this thread.  Despite West timer’s claim that I said “the dome occupied 180 acres”, what I actually said is “keep a redundant, outdated building sitting idle on 180 acres in a part of town where large tracts of available commercial land is rare,” and that addresses an issue Harris County Sports and Convention Corp. Executive Director Ryan Walsh talked about this past November when he said “The dichotomy is that a lot of the public doesn't see where the dome sits. It’s squarely in the middle of a very well-established sports and entertainment district, right in the middle of NRG Park. That makes it very difficult for some of these great ideas we’ve had because of our contractual obligations to our existing tenants, the Rodeo and Texans. The rodeo is six weeks long. If you’ve got a store or hotel or restaurant, if you can't work something out with the rodeo, you’ve got to shut down for six weeks. I don't know any business that could shut down for six weeks and still be viable.”

 

The Astrodome isn’t off in a corner of the property, out of the way of the active use of the rest of the property. Its central position creates an interference. Unused, where it is, it takes up space immediately adjacent to both NRG Center and the Stadium that could better be used for the benefit of the existing active tenants and the surrounding area. As a dead monument to the past, it is not the highest and best use of the property.

 

On the other hand, if it were redeveloped on the spot where it exists now, its activity would interfere with the activity of the existing tenants. Therefore its position DOES impede the fullest use of the 180 acres, which was my point, and which supports the argument for demolition. Reusing the spot where the Astrodome once stood as a flood retention pond, which then could be landscaped around to add natural aesthetic beauty to NRG Park, as well as protection from flooding, would be the highest and best use of the land that wouldn't interfere with existing activity on the property, while also minimizing the demolition cost and redevelopment time, which would again minimize disruption to existing tenant activities.

 

Edited by Reefmonkey
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A reminder might be in order here to refrain from name-calling and personal attacks and keep it on-topic.

  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O.K. I'll try not to hurt anyone's feelings BUT I still have to point out for the record that destroying Houston's biggest and most famous historical landmark because it might get in the way of some unknown, yet-to-be thought up, fictitious, development in the future is a preposterous idea. Seems like someone who objects to keeping the dome around because there is no guarantee that it will ever be developed in to anything practical would already understand that. 

 

The idea of removing the dome just in case someone in the future might want to develop the land it currently stands on is no different than the idea of keeping the dome around just in case someone in the future might want to repurpose it into something of practical use. One abstract idea is just as uncertain as the other. The one big difference in these options is that if you tear down the dome you don't get it back. Maybe this future development happens, maybe it doesn't, but we know the one thing that won't happen is getting our historical landmark back.

 

And even if they did replace the Astrodome with something more practical, no future developer is going to be able to replace the established historical landmark we would lose. The only thing we would be guaranteed is that we would absolutely lose forever the big one that we already have. The Astrodome has to be the single most irreplaceable building in Houston, not because of what it is used for, but because of it's unique significance in Houston's development as a world city and the development of architecture in general. Not sure why this concept is so hard for some people to grasp and how it can be so easily dismissed.

 

Now go tear down the Alamo just in case some developer might want to build a strip mall on the land it occupies and leave the dome alone. (too good not to repost)

 

Here's to "dead monuments of the past".

 

 

Edited by West Timer
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There appears to be what I am sure was unintentional mischaracterization of my last post, so I will do my best to clarify now.  I did not recommend razing the Astrodome because it might get in the way of a possible future as-yet-unconceived development. What I said was:

 

1. Leaving the dome idle for posterity like a "rusting ship" is not reasonable. Even the dome's most ardent preservationist cheerleader, Ed Emmet, said so ("rusting ship" was his turn of phrase).

 

2. The public has made it clear that they don't want to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars required to rehabilitate the dome to useful life. That means private money, and private investors would want revenue that would produce a good ROI.

 

3. The dome's close proximity to NRG Stadium and NRG Center mean that year-round use of the dome by a private business/businesses would interfere with Texans and HLSR activity, according to Harris County Sports and Convention Corp. Executive Director Ryan Walsh. Curtailing that private business during the 6 weeks of Rodeo alone would limit a private venture's ability to make that ROI.

 

4. So the only way to add a business to NRG Park would be to site it away from NRG Stadium, Center, and Astrodome so there would be no interference. I'll add here that since most of the unbuilt land on NRG Park is parking lot, to make up for that, turning the Astrodome into parking space would likely be necessary to compensate for the displaced parking elsewhere. Just converting the dome to a parking structure without all the other amenities Emmett dreamed of might not cost the full $105 million, but it will still be significantly more expensive than simply razing it and putting in a flat parking, and again, the public has made it clear they don't want to spend that kind of money. So that narrows it down to spending $28 million on a parking lot.

 

5. There is another alternative. Instead of spending $28 million on a parking lot, $20 million of which is backfilling a giant hole, spend only $8 million and leave the hole. Turn that hole into a flood retention pond, which would help protect NRG Park and even the surrounding area from flooding, and which could be beautified with landscaping.

 

Imagine walking out of a Texans game, or the Livestock Show, or the Car or  Boat Shows, and instead of seeing a "rusting ship" of a vacant, idle old stadium, visitors would encounter a 9 acre lake fringed with bald cypress trees, cattails and bulrush, with great blue herons, white ibises, and roseate spoonbills wading the shoreline.  Imagine people all around the country watching Texans pregame shows on their TVs seeing that sight, how that would help to counter Houston's reputation as an ugly city that not only doesn't care about the natural environment, has no natural environment to care about.

 

It's about highest best use practical for that piece of property at the lowest cost. Moldering mausoleum for past memories, or vibrant natural habitat that beautifies NRG Park while also aiding in the protection of property and lives during flood events?

 

 

Edited by Reefmonkey
  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep trying. No one's buying your re-characterization of your "mischaracterization".

 

1. It's ridiculous to destroy a historic landmark because of a little rust. The Astrodome's "bones" are just fine.

 

2. The public has made it clear that they don't want the dome destroyed. Find me a current poll that says otherwise. I can't find anything showing public support in favor of destruction at all. Not voting yes to spend millions to fund someone's idea back in 2013 to repurpose the dome is NOT the same thing as voting to destroy it. Those are 2 SEPARATE issues. Get a vote that shows the majority in favor of demoing the dome and then we'll talk. Until then, you're just pushing your own personal "interpretation" of what the public "has made clear". 

 

3. Boo Hoo. The Texans and the HLSR should have thought about the dome's close proximity before they built NRG. The Dome was there first. The Texans and the HLSR are not hurting for business or money. They can just deal with the Historical Landmark they decided to build next to. Demolition was NEVER part of the deal.

 

4. Why does anyone HAVE to add a business to NRG park? Isn't their any other place left in Houston to set up a business that DOES NOT require demolishing Houston's biggest and most famous historic landmark? I think they can find one if they try. Go tear down Greenspoint Mall or something. 

 

5. There is another alternative. Leave the dome alone until the conditions are right to repurpose it. You know, just keep doing what we've been doing for the last 20 years. I don't see that anyone in this city is hurting because the Astrodome looks the way it looks. Houston's still thriving. People are still working. The Texans are still packing them in. The Rodeo still smells like 💩. There isn't any panic in the streets. I'm all in favor of improving it. But I can live with it just as it is until it reaches it's untapped potential. HOWEVER LONG IT TAKES!

 

Imagine seeing the Historic Landmark Astrodome completely revitalized, appreciated and turned into a year round tourist attraction. It's not that hard. And then going to Hermann park or Memorial Park to appreciate the environment. I'm sure a revitalized Astrodome wouldn't hurt Houston's ugly reputation any more that some stink tank built in the middle of a gargantuan sized parking lot.

 

Repurposing an already existing structure into something useful and profitable is just about best bang you can get for your buck. No demolition cost. No rebuilding cost. EVERYBODY WINS! Except those who are in favor of destruction for the sake of destruction. Those guys can go jump in a retention pond.

Edited by West Timer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I was happy to engage in civil, mature discourse on the subject and assume good faith, but  seems like it's just too emotional an issue for some other people to approach objectively. Oh well.

Edited by Reefmonkey
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/17/2020 at 10:07 AM, Reefmonkey said:

 

To be honest, I'm not sure I trust the county on this, this is the same county that ignored the will of the voters, and when they did, announced a $105 million plan that didn't include the cost to replace the air conditioning system, which is estimated to be in the tens of millions. It seems too much of a pet project for Emmett, who traveled overseas on Harris County taxpayers' dime to go see an abandoned zepplin terminal that had been turned into a rainforest and water park (neither of which it would make sense to do for the Astrodome), to be objective and transparent about the real condition of the Astrodome. I wouldn't put it past the county under Emmett to downplay problems with the Astrodome at all.

 

 

 

I believe the claim they traveled overseas on Harris County taxpayers' dime is false.  It was reported at the time that Emmet used campaign funds to pay for the trip.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Houston19514 said:

 

I believe the claim they traveled overseas on Harris County taxpayers' dime is false.  It was reported at the time that Emmet used campaign funds to pay for the trip.

 Looking into it,  appears you are correct, Emmett's camp did claim the trip was paid with campaign funds.  I wonder if that's what his Harris County Republican campaign donors expected their money to be spent on? And was traveling to other countries to visit water parks what we elected him to do? Did he use personal vacation time, or was he "on the job" when he was over there? I always took a dim view of Lee Brown's overseas trips; local elected officials are elected to govern locally, they have no foreign policy role and foreign trips should be unnecessary. If an elected official wants to use their private money and their vacation time to take a vacation, and tack on a busman's holiday to see something they think might apply to their job, that's their prerogative. When they spend money other than their personal money, it's pretty obvious that's not how they see the trip.

Edited by Reefmonkey
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Reefermonkey - I'll admit that I'm emotional over NEEDLESS waste. I don't think that is a bad thing either considering that emotion is probably one of the things keeping Houston's most well known historic landmark from being needlessly or recklessly torn down. Until the dome starts generating some kind of revenue, it's always going to have a target on it's back. Emotion and sentiment are powerful weapons when it comes to preserving historic landmarks.

 

But so is logic. It makes no sense to destroy a one of a kind building that has so much unique potential when it isn't hurting anyone or costing anyone any more than a percentage of a cent in taxes every year to keep it standing. According to this source, maintenance cost run to $170,000 annually, there are over 4.653 million people in Harris County. That comes out to 0.03653556845046 cents per person, per year vs. $40,000,000 or so to tear it down. I'll be happy to pay for your share of the Astrodome's upkeep for the rest of your life. Assuming you are 10 years old and live to be 100. That means I owe you 3.2 cents. Where do I send the check?

 

You haven't convinced me at all that removing the dome will improve the local economy, our quality of life, NRG Park, the city of Houston or ANYONE in the world.  I'm not even sure your fight is actually against the dome anymore or if its just to simply win a HAIF pissing contest. But it doesn't matter. I want to thank you for giving me an opportunity to make my case for saving the dome and preserving an important part of Houston history. 

Edited by West Timer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...