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Future Of The Astrodome

What do you think should happen to the astrodome?  

164 members have voted

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

    • luxurey hotel
      14
    • demolation
      48
    • mini city
      34
    • historical landmark
      67


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3 million for maintenance a year? Someone is pocketing a lot of money because from that video you can see there's been no maintenance done on the inside of the Dome.

Are there particular individuals put in charge of "maintaining" the dome? Perhaps the video should cause the public to re-evaluate their roles in the county government?

That $3 million covers several categories of expenditures - not just physical maintenance of the facility's structure. It also includes utilities, insurance and security. If it included clean-up, it would be significantly more than this figure, and there would be no benefit because no one enters the facility; I'm fairly certain that the county officials/Reliant Park management are pushing off these expenses to a future developer (or, at least, until a time of future development.

That some photos and video have been released that show that the area is 'dirty' isn't a justification for vilifying the authorities in charge of its maintenance. In fact, I would be livid if my tax dollars were being used to keep the Astrodome 'pretty'. The burst pipe in the video is a bit concerning, but not entirely surprising, but the rest is irrelevant unless the facility is used again as a sports venue.

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It's too bad about the seats though, I bet they could have sold blocks of them to recoup a bit of cost at least. They probably still can sell some seats out of it. I'm sure there are some people who'd want to own a piece of the dome!

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if you think the astrodome is bad...take a tour of the old astrodome hotel. it is step back in time. mad men will seem lame compared to the original hotel. i will add the photos soon.

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Here's my idea. To my mind it seems to be the least expensive (except for just letting the 'Dome crumble into the ground), practical, and mindful of the siginicance of the structure.

1) Demolish the structure and let the larger part of the ground be used for whatever the powers that be think best but . . .

2) Mark where home plate and the 50-yard-line were (sort of like the home plate of the old 'Buff's stadium in th basement of Finger's furniture store.

3) Reserve the ground around those two landmarks for a monument to the memories (notice plural) of the dome. I would move the statue of R. E. "Bob" Smith into this area, add a statue of Judge Hofheinz and build a granite wall somewhat like the one at the Vietnam Memorial in D. C. but not as somber of course. The wall might define the location of the baseball diamond. On one side (probably the 'outside') could be images in relief of notable events held at the 'Dome and on the other side a list of names - a hall of fame, if you will, of notable people who played/performed there. This would include greats from the Astros and Oilers, and other athletes (think Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs) as well as other local entertainers for example, Kenny Rogers and Selena.

Well, it's just a thought. Perhaps I should go looking for my old sketch book and Prismacolors. There's just been too many wonderful things that happened in the 'Dome (even apart from great Astros and Oilers games) not to make some gesture acknowledging those events.

Edited by Specwriter

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Regarding the question about what to do with the Dome... I'm not at liberty to disclose too much at this time, but I'll simply state that I am involved in an effort to bring a proposal for the renovation of the Dome to county officials at this time. If our vision is realized, Houston will have something truly unique that - in our opinion and analysis - will benefit the regional population while, at the same time, elevating Houston's status as a global city. We will divulge more once we've hit a couple more milestones (or don't).

Fascinating. Can you give us an idea on the timeline? IF it goes forward at all, when would the idea be presented to the County?

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Here's my idea. To my mind it seems to be the least expensive (except for just letting the 'Dome crumble into the ground), practical, and mindful of the siginicance of the structure.

1) Demolish the structure and let the larger part of the ground be used for whatever the powers that be think best but . . .

2) Mark where home plate and the 50-yard-line were (sort of like the home plate of the old 'Buff's stadium in th basement of Finger's furniture store.

3) Reserve the ground around those two landmarks for a monument to the memories (notice plural) of the dome. I would move the statue of R. E. "Bob" Smith into this area, add a statue of Judge Hofheinz and build a granite wall somewhat like the one at the Vietnam Memorial in D. C. but not as somber of course. The wall might define the location of the baseball diamond. On one side (probably the 'outside') could be images in relief of notable events held at the 'Dome and on the other side a list of names - a hall of fame, if you will, of notable people who played/performed there. This would include greats from the Astros and Oilers, and other athletes (think Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs) as well as other local entertainers for example, Kenny Rogers and Selena.

Well, it's just a thought. Perhaps I should go looking for my old sketch book and Prismacolors. There's just been too many wonderful things that happened in the 'Dome (even apart from great Astros and Oilers games) not to make some gesture acknowledging those events.

That's sort of the minimum, I would hope. I am also intrigued by the idea, suggested earlier in the thread, of leaving the superstructure in place. I have no idea if that is feasible from an engineering standpoint, but I would think so. I think it could be quite beautiful.

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That's sort of the minimum, I would hope.

Yes, I agree it is a minimalist approach. As I said, "least expensive," so hopefully more likely than other alternatives.

I can think of a few things I think would be cool to do with the 'Dome and have it left essentially intact and others have given interesting proposals too. I keep coming back to the reality though that those programs would require lots of money and I don't think the county or private investors are likely to make expenditures of that magnitude anytime soon.

A thing doesn't have to be grandiose to be evocative.I think that is what is so powerful about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D. C or the eternal frame at Arlington.

Having said that, I do like the idea of keeping the steel framework of the Astrodome because it would be something people could see from the freeway, from other buildings (those that are tall enough anyway), and from the air and it would remind them of the spirit and attitude of the city. My only concern with doing that is what to do with all the ground beneath the structure. Since the floor of the 'Dome is lower than grade already perhaps parking underneath a greenspace is a possibility. Tailgate parties could be complemented by family picnics.

Edited by Specwriter

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Since it will cost over $100 million to demolish the dome and many people are aginst spending tax dollars, why not give the dome to any developer who promises a lavish development there. One restraint would be construction/renovation must start within a year after the developer has control over the land or they will be fined and must give the dome back to the city.

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http://blog.chron.com/ultimateastros/2012/04/16/experts-say-astrodome-demolition-price-tag-seems-high/

Edgardo Colon, board chairman for the Sports Corp., said several factors would drive up the cost of a Dome demolition, including its proximity to Reliant Stadium and its 30-foot-deep concrete substructure.

Loston added that the water table is high at the site, and said engineers have told him no building constructed like the Astrodome has been imploded.

“This is not your basic metro-dome implosion or anything like that, where there’s only parking lot that’s surrounding the stadium,” Colon said. “It’s a much more complicated endeavor.”

Demolition experts said the county’s estimate sounds high. Issues such as the substructure and proximity to other buildings, they said, are common with many demolition jobs.

Cincinnati’s Cinergy Field and Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium were blown up within feet of the new parks that replaced them, for example.

“Wow,” said Mike Taylor, executive director of the National Association of Demolition Contractors, when told of the estimate. “I should go back in the business if they’re going to give me $78 million to bring that down. I know my boots are somewhere.”

Mike Dokell, demolition division manager for Houston-based Cherry Demolition, and Jim Redyke, of Tulsa-based Dykon Explosive Demolition Corp., agreed.

“I think their estimate includes a lot of contingencies and a lot of worst-case scenarios and when they go out for bid they’ll be pleasantly surprised,” Dokell said. “The 78 (million) number includes a lot of things a demo guy is typically not going to include.”

The demolition experts said the only factor that would greatly drive up the cost of razing the Dome would be if the county chose to pull all of the concrete out of the ground to make it easier to build on the site in the future, as opposed to simply filling it with dirt and creating a plaza or parking lot.

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Since it will cost over $100 million to demolish the dome and many people are aginst spending tax dollars, why not give the dome to any developer who promises a lavish development there. One restraint would be construction/renovation must start within a year after the developer has control over the land or they will be fined and must give the dome back to the city.

The city does not own the dome.

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Since it will cost over $100 million to demolish the dome and many people are aginst spending tax dollars, why not give the dome to any developer who promises a lavish development there. One restraint would be construction/renovation must start within a year after the developer has control over the land or they will be fined and must give the dome back to the city.

The city does not own the dome.

rsb320 is (of course) correct. But, there's also the fact that the county owes USD 30 MM in debt on the Dome, so their preferred option would a business model which can use the space to generate income sufficient to maintain operations and satisfy the debt.

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I am a life long Houstonian. I grew up going to the Dome with my family and friends. I don’t want to see it torn down, but I also hate to see it in its current state. I do not have any faith in our City to do what they need to to really preserve it. Every administration just keeps passing the buck to the next dumb S/DOB to have to “deal” with it. All while it cost us millions of dollars per year to pay for the “upkeep”.

I think it would be pretty cool to pull all of the stuff out of the stadium (seats, asbestos, concrete, etc.), and do their best to keep the skeleton of the dome in place and turn it into a green space/concert spot etc. Think of the Coliseum. I think it would provide a sentimental shell of the old stadium, but not in its current sad state.

*** I posted this with out reading all of the posts, but I am thinking the same thing many of you guys are. I really like the idea of keeping the superstructure in place. This is by far the most compelling and feasible idea I have heard since all of this talk began.

Edited by Potsey99

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Houston needs a themepark. Take out the seats, and turn the Astrodome into an indoor themepark. Bathrooms and vending areas are already in place. I mean sheesh we already do a large-scale fair outside for the Rodeo. Just move it inside and make it year-round! Is this so difficult to comprehend?

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Houston needs a themepark. Take out the seats, and turn the Astrodome into an indoor themepark. Bathrooms and vending areas are already in place. I mean sheesh we already do a large-scale fair outside for the Rodeo. Just move it inside and make it year-round! Is this so difficult to comprehend?

Not difficult to comprehend at all. But apparently difficult to finance. That was, after all, one of the first failed proposals.

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Hold your horses. Those were the options presented in 2010. We do not know yet what options will come out of today's meeting.

Oops, my bad.

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Consultants recommend renovation and give no details. I hope more is coming out soon. CSL/Populous were the consultants. Is an architecture firm really the best choice for consulship on a project like this? Doesn't make sense to me.

http://blog.chron.com/houstonpolitics/2012/05/consultants-recommend-270-million-plan-to-renovate-astrodome/

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Consultants recommend renovation and give no details. I hope more is coming out soon. CSL/Populous were the consultants. Is an architecture firm really the best choice for consulship on a project like this? Doesn't make sense to me.

http://blog.chron.co...vate-astrodome/

Populous is an architecture firm. CSL is an "advisory and planning firm specializing in providing consulting services to the convention, sport, entertainment and visitor industries. CSL was established for the specific purpose of providing a source of focused research and expertise in these industries. Services include new/expanded event facility feasibility studies, organizational reviews/performance enhancement studies, destination master planning, industry benchmarking, negotiation assistance and related services."

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Consultants recommend renovation and give no details. I hope more is coming out soon. CSL/Populous were the consultants. Is an architecture firm really the best choice for consulship on a project like this? Doesn't make sense to me.

http://blog.chron.co...vate-astrodome/

A recommendation to renovate the Dome for "multi-purpose use" without detailing what exactly those multi-purposes would be makes me wonder. What exactly would they have come up with that makes sense after nobody else has been able to make the numbers work for years now?

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A recommendation to renovate the Dome for "multi-purpose use" without detailing what exactly those multi-purposes would be makes me wonder. What exactly would they have come up with that makes sense after nobody else has been able to make the numbers work for years now?

Food for thought: Just because the Chronicle did not report any details does not mean none exist. In fact, there are better reports in Ohio, Dallas and Atlanta media than in the Chron (still short on detail, but a little more of a report than the Chron managed to crank out). I suspect the report that was just delivered late this afternoon has a little more detail than has been shared with us thus far.

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their choices sounded pretty clear to me. a) gut it and refurbish in the hopes enough events other than the rodeo will lease it, or B) a 'plaza', which sounds like code for mostly parking lot.

Enough with the endless feedback loop of bad ideas that no one will finance. Demolish it already, but first auction the seats and whatever fixtures are left.

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From the Chronicle:

Concerts, games, shows

The Astrodome renovation would entail stripping the seats out of the 47-year-old stadium, upgrading or replacing its mechanical systems, sprucing up the roof and exterior and installing a floor at street level. The roughly 30 feet below that, down to the current field level, could serve as rainwater detention for Reliant Park.

The multipurpose Dome could be used to host concerts of all sizes, as well as football, soccer and hockey games, basketball and tennis tournaments, livestock shows, conventions and other events, said Dennis Wellner, of consultant firm Populous. The consultants' report estimates the work could be completed in 2015.

Though the Dome has a higher profile, Sports Corp. chairman Edgardo Colon said the consultants believe replacing Reliant Arena is a higher priority, and would allow the county to better compete for events, shows and conventions it cannot host now.

The existing Dome can be used to host concerts of all sizes, as well as football, soccer and hockey games etc etc, and yet there hasn't been sufficient demand these last 15 years. So how does spending another $500 million change all that?

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From the Chronicle:

The existing Dome can be used to host concerts of all sizes, as well as football, soccer and hockey games etc etc, and yet there hasn't been sufficient demand these last 15 years. So how does spending another $500 million change all that?

The Dome is currently unable to do these things because it's not fit for occupancy. Bringing it up to code would cost millions due to the crumbling infrastructure. That's a significant proportion of the estimated remodeling costs, too.

Unlike some others on here, I'm in favor of preserving and remodeling the Dome. As I've mentioned previously in this thread, I'm a member of a coalition that's developing a concept which could be a viable major (not sole) tenant of a revamped Dome. One of our colleagues presented the concept at the HCSCC/Reliant Park board meeting yesterday. Since this meeting was open to the press and public, there's no more point in being covert...

The concept fleshes out the notion of a STEM institute to be housed in the Dome, as a technology institute to be housed (essentially) in the upper-level ring concourses, while the ground floor would be maintained as a multi-purpose space managed by Reliant Park management and used for indoor festivals, large-scale conferences and regular events (such as part of the Rodeo). The technology institute itself would consist of five major components: exhibits, education (housed together as a tech museum), a technology social policy institute, a neutral space for technology/applied STEM-based multi-institutional collaborative research, and a technology commercial incubator.

I hesitate to say too much more, but I'd be happy to answer any questions - either here or via PM.

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From their powerpoint presentation

Key Conclusions

1. It is recommended that the Replacement Arena Project be developed at an estimated Project Cost of $385.4 million

2. It is the team's strong recommendation that action be taken on the Replacement Arena Project and Astrodome.

3. it is also recommended that HCSCC continue its efforts to secure a private developer for the on-site Hotel.

3. (pay them half a mil and they put two number 3's) It is recommended the Multi-Purpose Facility option be selected for the future use of the Astrodome site at an estimated cost of $270.3 million.

4. Analysis of the Astrodome Renaissance has been unable to identify a mix of uses that can be financed today through traditional sources.

5. However, if Harris County elects to pursue the Multi-Purpose Facility option, it preserves the Astrodome Renaissance option if other sources of funding become available.

6. The Status Quo option is not recommended.

powerpoint and full report links: http://www.reliantpa...-plan-and-recom

Edited by lockmat
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A recommendation to renovate the Dome for "multi-purpose use" without detailing what exactly those multi-purposes would be makes me wonder. What exactly would they have come up with that makes sense after nobody else has been able to make the numbers work for years now?

Here's an idea.

A new Reliant Arena isn't needed at all. The Dome could be the new Reliant Arena. And it could be larger or even smaller as well. Ever heard of the Saitama Super Arena?!? It uses movable seating sections which can change the seating capacity from as large as 37,000 seats to small as 9,000 seats. Use the floor for exhibition space as well. A true multipurpose convention & entertainment venue hosing a multitude of events.

http://www.saitama-arena.co.jp/e/facility.html

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http://swamplot.com/...ome/2012-03-23/

Really cool - wonder how much that oiler sign would sell for at auction?

Is it sad or cool that it's still sitting there? Sad because it's not used and millions are spent for nothing, cool because it's not knocked down yet.

There's some saying that escapes me goes something like " You can't f up if you don't do anything"

lol

Both the Oiler and Astro signs are very cool looking. They would look great next to my autographed Earl Campbell helmet and JR Richard Jersey.

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Here's an idea.

A new Reliant Arena isn't needed at all. The Dome could be the new Reliant Arena. And it could be larger or even smaller as well. Ever heard of the Saitama Super Arena?!? It uses movable seating sections which can change the seating capacity from as large as 37,000 seats to small as 9,000 seats. Use the floor for exhibition space as well. A true multipurpose convention & entertainment venue hosing a multitude of events.

http://www.saitama-a...e/facility.html

Farmers and Flee markets too!

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"Astrodome Tomorrow" has a proposal for the Dome. Here are some images from their facebook account: http://www.facebook....299333546760590 (saw it on Tory's blog)

Some notes about their proposal (some of which I'm not sure have been updated or are obsolete)

- Will have a monorail that goes around the site. That's the ring you see.

- I voiced my concern about Texans tailgating and Rodeo carnival space. Their reply: "Good question, thanks for asking. We are committed to developing a master plan that takes away no tail-gating space or space for the carnival rides. Integral to our approach is the idea that, as needed, the space we are designating as roof-garden-over-parking will be available for use by tailgaters, cook-off, and carnival for the duration of those events. This is consistent with our commitment to enhance both visitor experience and tenant operations.

It should be noted that the master plans previously presented by Reliant management and CSL reduce the footprint of the rodeo carnival."

- The Astrodome roof would be solar panels and have programmable decorative lighting that could be visible from nearby and orbit. They could depct planets, galaxies or abstract designs.

- Includes a skate park

- Will have a water feature that represents the simplest form of fractals

- 90 acre green park

- Parking garage underneath the park

- etc

A few images. They have many more with explanations in their facebook image gallery.

389228_438809026146374_2003375604_n.jpg

373960_320299387997339_1852790235_n.jpg

314212_438806902813253_272964238_n.jpg

311766_299333953427216_1153885930_n.jpg

Edited by lockmat

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I love it. Build a Texas Cyclone on it and we practically have AstroWorld back too. What a great way to relish, enjoy and appreciate an exciting part of Houston's history. The 'Astro' era could have its own outdoor/indoor shrine and be a beautiful gateway to Reliant, the Houston Texans and the Rodeo.

Of course, I realize that this doesn't scream corporate functionality and I don't see a clear path to unbridled profits at this time (which seems to be the only thing most shortsighted people at HAIF only care about) but it's a great idea just the same.

Good luck with this one. As someone who just wants to save the dome for the sake of civil pride (don't care about raising your taxes to do it either), I'm willing to throw my support behind just about anything at this point that will preserve this (still) living symbol. The Astrodome is a larger than life monument to one of the greatest, most excessive, exciting periods in our city's history. It's not just another old stadium. It helped to put Houston on the map and deserves more respect than just any old ordinary white elephant.

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I love it. Build a Texas Cyclone on it and we practically have AstroWorld back too. What a great way to relish, enjoy and appreciate an exciting part of Houston's history. The 'Astro' era could have its own outdoor/indoor shrine and be a beautiful gateway to Reliant, the Houston Texans and the Rodeo.

Of course, I realize that this doesn't scream corporate functionality and I don't see a clear path to unbridled profits at this time (which seems to be the only thing most shortsighted people at HAIF only care about) but it's a great idea just the same.

Good luck with this one. As someone who just wants to save the dome for the sake of civil pride (don't care about raising your taxes to do it either), I'm willing to throw my support behind just about anything at this point that will preserve this (still) living symbol. The Astrodome is a larger than life monument to one of the greatest, most excessive, exciting periods in our city's history. It's not just another old stadium. It helped to put Houston on the map and deserves more respect than just any old ordinary white elephant.

This pipe dream is really cool compared to others, and it would be awesome if Reliant would just take lead on making this happen.

I'll agree with the bolded statement, only because decay is a natural part of life!

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I read an article in the HBJ about turning the Astrodome into a giant casino. It's probably very unlikely, and unfortunately it's behind paywall but it's still pretty interesting. Granted, they'd have to legalize gambling first.

 

“Houston is going to get the first piece of Texas casino action. One of my clients, a big name in gaming who must remain confidential, is going to buy the Astrodome and turn it into the world’s biggest gambling pit under one roof, with thousands of slot machines on multiple levels and high-stakes table games on the floor."

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/print-edition/2013/03/15/lucky-louie-likes-odds-on-casino.html?page=all

 

 

Edited by ClutchCity

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Per Ed emmitt, this is a non story

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett does not consider this new information on the Astrodome as changing anything at this point.

"I looked at it briefly (Monday) and all it is, is how much does it cost to demolish the dome," said Emmett.

"That's something that, if and when Harris County Commissioners Court made the decision to do that, then I'm sure we would go out for bids.

"Unless there's something there I didn't see when it came across my desk, all I saw were two or three options for how to demolish it and turn it into a parking lot. I know that's their position. I'm not denigrating it, but that doesn't really move the ball anywhere."

Judge Emmett said he does not immediately plan to do anything with the information from the Texans and the Rodeo.

"Read it and put it on a shelf," Emmett said. "It's not meaningful at all."

Read more: http://www.myfoxhouston.com/story/21723499/2013/03/19/houston-texans-rodeohouston-proposing-astrodome-implosion#ixzz2O2XcB4I6

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I hope Ed is only tabling turning the area into a parking lot, not demolition. 

 

I think there are still plenty of things they can do with the dome, and certainly I think a lot of Houstonians are at a point where they believe demolition isn't a bad idea. That being said, it would be just like Houston to demo and put in a parking lot. No, lets shake that history and get to a point where we do something purposeful with the land, even if it is a greenspace dedicated to Houston sports history.

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The idea of tearing down the Astrodome is already a dismal enough scenario. But to think that the ground it once stood on gets no more reverence than to become just another parking lot within an ocean of parking lots should be considered an insult by anyone who truly loves the city of Houston. At least leaving the land the dome once stood on as some kind of green space park, small sports museum or some kind of tribute to what it brought to Houston as far as international recognition and the revolutionary architecture that it was at the time it opened would be some small (very small) consolation.  The idea of paving over it and forgetting it like it was just another aluminum building that used to sell cheap furniture back in the 70's on the I-610 feeder road is BEYOND PATHETIC!

 

I understand that nothing could be cheaper and require less thought and imagination than to blow it up and make a parking lot for the Texans and the Rodeo to enjoy more profits on, but Houston is one of the riches cities in the world and if we allow this to happen at a time when our city is booming, I think Houston would lose a lot of respect from the people who matter most - the ones who are here for the long haul.

 

I also understand that it is the "Houston way" to discard old buildings that are no longer profitable or are standing in the way of someone's corporate profits, but this one time we better make an exception. The Astrodome was a game changing, internationally recognizable, unique piece of architecture and those don't come around very often. Houston may never get another one. 

 

Edited by Mister X
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I also understand that it is the "Houston way" to discard old buildings that are no longer profitable or are standing in the way of someone's corporate profits, but this one time we better make an exception. The Astrodome was a game changing, internationally recognizable, unique piece of architecture and those don't come around very often. Houston may never get another one. 

 

I don't know if it's really fair to imply that this is a problem that is specific to Houston, because this kind of demolition of historic stadiums has happened all across the US.  Does anyone know of a successful example of repurposing a facility like this?

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I also understand that it is the "Houston way" to discard old buildings that are no longer profitable or are standing in the way of someone's corporate profits, but this one time we better make an exception.

 

tumblr_inline_mfhoyyaa8b1rn081n.jpg

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I believe we should let the damned thing sit there and rot until McNair and the rednecks pay to get rid of it themselves.

 

family_guy_weak_force.jpg

Edited by Mister X

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Yes, there have been a ton of old stadiums demolished. However, how many of them were demolished for surface parking and nothing else?

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Yes, there have been a ton of old stadiums demolished. However, how many of them were demolished for surface parking and nothing else?

 

I am not in favor of demolishing the astrodome, especially to just replace it with surface parking; but to your question:

 

Shea Stadium comes to mind. 

I think Seattle Kingdome was also demolished and replaced with surface parking for their new foottball stadium. Also:

Milwaukee County Stadium;

Comiskey Park;

Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta;

Veterans Stadium in Philly;

Arlington Stadium;

Mile HIgh Stadium;

Foxboro Stadium (demolished just to replace it with surface parking... later redeveloped);

Giants Stadium at The Meadowlands;

Texas Stadium (used for equipment storage and TxDOT staging area... little different from surface parking);

Three Rivers Stadium;

 

Also arenas were demolished just to be replaced with surface parking lots:

McNichols Sports Arena in Denver;

Market Square Arena in Indy;

the Spectrum in Philly;

Boston Garden;

Chicago Stadium.

 

Edited by Houston19514

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From The Atlantic

 

The former Guru Maharaji once said, "God is like the Astrodome. If you haven’t experienced it personally, you don’t know what it is."

For anyone who grew up immersed in the worlds of modernist architecture or professional sports, entering the Dome is an oddly spiritual experience. Natural light pours in from its ceiling, shining down on the decaying site. The torn-up Astroturf field is still surrounded by the late 90s ephemera of its final days (box-shaped televisions, advertisements, endzone signs for its most famous tenants, the MLB Astros and former NFL Oilers).

It's been a decade since the Astrodome hosted any local sports team, and it's in worse shape than ever before. Each year, Harris County grapples with the choice of spending tens of millions to demolish the stadium, or hundreds of millions to save it.

That debate got a little rowdier earlier this month, when the NFL Texans and the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (both organizations occupy surrounding properties) released a study claiming the dome could be demolished for under $30 million, less than half the cost County officials have been reporting.

Even NFL commissioner Roger Goodell shared his opinion last week, suggesting that a torn down Astrodome could make it easier for its neighbor, Reliant Stadium, to host a Super Bowl by providing the site an extra 2,500 parking spots.

 

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2013/03/what-should-become-aging-decrepit-astrodome/5095/

 

astro2.jpg

 

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From CultureMap

 

A new Astrodome idea: Strip the dome to its skeleton and put a park underneath the remains

In the wake of a recent recommendation to demolish the Astrodome and put up a 2,500-spot parking lot in its place, here's another suggestion for what to do with the aging icon: Strip it to its skeleton and make it a park.  

The idea comes from Ryan Slattery, a graduate student at the University of Houston, who tackled the troubled structure's future for his School of Architecture Master's Thesis. A friend posted the basics of his plan on Reddit last week:

Underneath the steel skeleton of the Astrodome, some grass and trees can be planted that can serve three purposes. 1) During Texans season, it can be a tailgate area much like the Grove at Ole Miss 2) During the Rodeo, it can be exhibition space, or outdoor grazing land for the Livestock show part of the HLSR. 3) During the year, it's just a ton of greenspace that can be chalked off for a sports complex (Imagine having your kickball beer league underneath the old Astrodome)."

 

http://houston.culturemap.com/newsdetail/03-27-13-a-new-astrodome-idea-strip-the-dome-to-its-skeleton-and-put-a-park-underneath-the-remains/

 

 

 

 

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