Comment of the Day: We Are the Dome

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WE ARE THE DOME “The Astrodome isn’t some piece of useless garbage that came off an assembly line like the crap sitting on hoarders shelves. What an offensive comment! The Astrodome is a ONE OF A KIND, UNIQUE, IRREPLACEABLE, RARE piece of Houston history. And face it, history is not something Houston has an abundance of. The Astrodome MUST be preserved AT ANY COST! Quit being so cheap for once! Somethings can not be measured in dollars. If the Astrodome was the second indoor mega stadium ever built, or if it had never brought Houston world wide attention that nothing before or since ever did, then maybe I could be on board with demolition. But this is as special to Houston as the Alamo is to San Antonio. The Astrodome is as special to Houston as the Statue of Liberty is to New York. It is as special as anything sitting in the Smithsonian. And it is still here. Tossing the Astrodome in the garbage would be the same as tossing the Wright Brothers airplane in the garbage. Sell it. Mothball it. Sacrifice a Superbowl or two for it. Whatever. Save it for another generation who is smart enough to find a purpose for it.” [Bitch, commenting on Sportswriter: Tearing Down Astrodome Would Help Houston ‘Move On’]

42 Comment

  • Thank you so much for sharing these heartfelt and thoughtful words.

  • It’s a useful space, and would only become another Reliant/Rodeo parking lot.

  • Comparing the damn Dome to the Alamo? Statue of Liberty? Wow, that just shows how bereft of cultural icons and historical architecture Houston is.

    Get over it. The Dome memories are much more valuable than the dome itself.

    It is not as if any Houston team won a championship in the dome. There is no storied, dynastic franchise associated with the dome. Well, perhaps Bud Adam’s ego fits that bill.

    I’ll say it again, quit Bagwelling the dome and just tear it down.

  • they took the space shuttle….maybe they would take the astrodome?! errr. no.
    its HIDEOUS! Come on BITCH! you are negating all your other awesome comments!!

  • I have to say…there are only about 6 buildings that really mean anything to me as a Houstonian, and one of them is Fugly. Jones Hall, Alley Theater, Astrodome, Transco, MFAH, and Menil. Guess which is the Fugly one.

    I still wish they’d just gut the ‘dome and turn it into an open air pavilion.

  • Make it an IMAX 5 plex in-door drive in movie theater and tear the dang walls off.

  • I’m wondering how long it will take the demolition proponents to realize that every time they write and publish–or repeat as Swamplot has now done–these factually inaccurate, offensively name-calling, vision-free works of non-journalism, it’s another opportunity for folks like us at ASTRODOME*TOMORROW to make lots more people aware of our terrific plan for Reliant Park and the Astrodome.

    Almost none of Chris Baldwin’s screed is based on reality. Just one example: He says we’ve had more than enough multi-million [dollar?] studies, but there have been NO multi-million dollar studies. Zero. That is misstatement of fact, and his article is full of it.

  • While I empathize with your opinion, I have to differ on comparing the astrodome to the Alamo, the fist flight in human history or a statue depicting american ideals. No one is in disagreement that this facility WAS ONCE a great accomplishment of engineering and construction, the idea that we are currently too incompetent to deal with this modern day eyesore is complete b/s, “leave it for another generation” cripes! No wonder we don’t have mass-transit, no one wants to deal with it, we want to dig our heads in the sand and let baby Huey deal with it. So long human ingenuity, nice knowing you.

  • Tear it down…

  • Hey! Astrodome Tomorrow has 172 likes on Facebook! They ARE making people aware of their terrific plan…just the part about who is supposed to pay for it??? um…no.

  • power wash it and turn it into storage spaces to bring in some cash flow. It is and will always be an amazing building. It is our city’s fingerprint

  • Storage space for all the junk harris county owns. And move every county employee out of downtown and to the Dome.

  • The Astrodome has nothing in common with the Alamo. It’s an old, moldy stadium and a blight on the city. The only reason not to knock it down tomorrow is the cost of demolition.

  • Tear it down. I’d rather save a 1920’s Heights bungalow than this thing. You can’t do anything with it. Every proposal is a stretch of the imagination so far that it’s absurd. If they hadn’t built Reliant about six inches away from the stupid thing, I might feel differently, but as it stands, it’s just in the way.

  • Comment of the day had to be satire. Appears to have worked. :)

  • Tear it down. It’s outlived its purpose and there has not been one good planned use for this structure since. There are many bad ideas how someone could throw millions upon millions of dollars to turn the dome into everything imaginable, but not one really good idea that would be profitable or successful. It would just bankrupt some gullible investors chasing an entrepreneur’s bad dreams err nightmare.
    . They tore down Yankee Stadium and that sure has a lot more memories and championships than the dome. Get over it. Just because Judge Hoffheinz called it the eight wonder of the world doesn’t make it one.
    I only wonder when the county will realize that it is just going to rust away and then it will be more of a safety issue.

  • I’m with Bubba. If this city is so bereft of character that the Astrodome is its fingerprint, Houston isn’t worth it.

  • Gosh, wasn’t the Superdome in New Orleans FULL of human waste following Katrina and had a big chunk of its roof blown off? And wasn’t it scheduled for demolition? And didn’t the city make a commitment to clean it up it and rehab it? And didn’t it just host the Super Bowl…for the 7th or 8th time? Not saying it’s capable of that but the Astrodome is an integral part of Houston history and should be preserved and repurposed.

  • It cheaper to keep it standing than it is to tear it down. There is NO pressing need to demolish it, so why not let it stand until we figure out something to do with it?

    My Dream: rip off the walls. Fill the big hole with water. Giant shaded swimming pool. Put the “park” back in Reliant Park.

  • I have always wondered since the roof is what makes the dome the first of it’s kind, could you gut the thing and leave only the supportcolums, clean it up and make it a covered park-type area that could be used by anyone attending stadium/convention center or arena?? Just wondering…

  • The Alamo sat vacant and was a blight to San Antonio until the DRT restored it in the early 1900s. The Astrodome is an icon of Houston, and a sad reminder of the creative and gutsy leaders we once had.

  • The Alamo is older and WAY uglier. What is the Statue of Liberty but a butt-ugly bimbo holding up a rusty old torch? Even old and rusted, the Astrodome still holds a spark of space age, minimalistic beauty. Oh yes it does! But like the Alamo and Statue of Liberty, they all are unique, relevant and stand for something important to a lot of people. You don’t keep or destroy historical buildings because some people think they are ugly, run down or beautiful. You keep them based on the significance they give to the culture that built them.

    I certainly realize that some people don’t have the capacity to understand why the Astrodome is as significant to the people who really LOVE Houston as the Alamo, Statue of Liberty or any other COMPLETELY USELESS, tax burden that shrines for whatever cause, belief or moment in history THEY think are important. The Astrodome helped to put Houston on the world map more than any other structure in this city. It stands for an unique can-do spirit that exist in this city like no other, thinking outside the box solutions, doing it against all odds and what rational thinking might otherwise suggest and it is a tribute to the impossible effort it actually took to get something THAT experimental, untested and risky to come to actually fruition. The Astrodome exist for the same unlikely reason that Houston itself exist. WE BUILT THE 4th LARGEST CITY, 5th LARGEST METRO in AMERICA in a SWAMP for GOD’S SAKE! And if that ain’t enuf, we made it the fastest growing, powerhouse, energy capital of the world! IMPOSSIBLE! CRAZY! In many ways the Astrodome does stand for Houston. “We are the Dome”? Why not?

    As someone who LOVES Houston more than most people who just come to Swamplot an put together a few bitchy snide remarks about Houston’s shortcomings for no reason, it is important to me and MANY MANY others,to not destroy the most relevant structure anyone in this city ever built (to date). Anyone who looks at the dome and sees an ugly building with no use has no imagination. I think people with no imagination get their way WAY too often in this town. This is just one small reason that Houston has very very few buildings of historical relevance. We can not allow the “un-imagineers” to win this fight.

    People on this website often comment on things this doesn’t have that our peer cities do have. Well, history is one of them. We can always build more stuff that competes with other cities, but we can’t rebuild the history that we destroy. So if you make a habit of pointing out what’s wrong with Houston, you need be out trying to save the Dome before it’s too late!

  • when the costs of restoring the Astrodome and bringing it to code exceed the value of the property, it should be torn down. As a tax payer I would not want to be on the hook for funding a renovation, as the city has other priorities that are in greater need of being addressed. I suspect that this is the case, in which case the property would not be all that appealing even to a private investor.

    I wonder if the only thing keeping it around at the present time is the County’s unwilling ness to take the hit on their financial statements as they would have to write the property off the books if the structure was torn down.

  • I think they should demo the inside, replace the roof with something like the original. Inside would be a mini-amusement park? Maybe a sky needle with a casino in it. Houston sucks, as in if whenever someone from out of town asks what there is to do here for fun we just shrug our shoulders and say, “Do you like massages with happy endings?”

  • Just a comment on the “Casino” idea. I remember when folks said that we need horse racing and dog racing in Texas or we will lose money to Louisiana. All of tax revenue will save the fiscal day. Have you been to the track lately. Nobody else has either. That idea was behind the times when it was implemented. Allowing casino gambling in Texas NOW is also an idea that is behind the times. Look at New Jersey, they are contemplating allowing internet gambling because folks no longer go to the casinos. If Texas wants gambling they need to think ahead of the curve. Skip the casinos and go straight to internet gambling. But I digressed from the dome topic.

    JTID (Just Tear It Down)

  • I can hear the Romans back in AD whatever having this same conversation about the Coliseum…”Julius, we need to tear down that old building. Now that we have quit killing Christians, what use is it anyway? The cost to maintain it is too high for such an old, ugly, and useless building. It doesn’t represent who we Romans are today, only those old, useless people and ideas from the past. If it isn’t relevant today, then it never was! We could be using the space for chariot parking for the Forum!”

  • SJH is on to something….Bring back gladiator fights and kill Christians for fun and sport.What a great counterpoint to Joel Ostean’s Summit megachurch! Finally an idea I can get behind.

  • I’ve been in this city 10 years, longer than I’ve lived anywhere else, and the comments here are a perfect example of why this city never feels right. Nobody here cares about history or cultural significance in any way. “Eighth Wonder of the Modern World? First domed stadium ever? The ONLY thing in the city that anyone from outside of Houston can actually name? Nah. Bulldoze it.”
    You people are ridiculous. It is literally the only icon Houston has.

  • Yawn, HAIF has had the definitive back-and-forth on this topic for years. Keep up, tourists.
    p.s: old dome = world’s biggest grow house!!

  • It didn’t occur to us when we were little that it was a terrible ballpark; and I hadn’t encountered the idea that it wasn’t baseball at all if it wasn’t played outdoors. There were fewer baseball snobs then.
    I treasured for a little longer than I should have the square of old Astroturf they magnanimously handed out to the kids one night. I feel that way about the Dome itself now but I appreciate that some of you want it to be the one thing Houston preserves. And I like that talking about the Dome is the Great Houston Pastime.
    Austin had its own problematic round building, that I believe had a small claim to being a footnote to the events of Nov.22, 1963, in that it was President Kennedy’s destination that evening:
    Granted, Austin’s aging auditorium was a much smaller affair, and there was general agreement that it was an eyesore. But when you look at the ring of support columns you can still see, if you want to, that old building. It came as news to learn that the much-mocked colors of the roof tiles had been carefully selected and arranged by some Fifties artist. They were applied, hail dings and all, to the outside of the new structure.

  • Give it to the Orange Show. Turn it in to a huge art car museum. Build ramps for moving displays. Allow lighting artists put in a new scoreboard display. Heck, it would make a great new home for the Blue Bug Sax sculpture. If we had done this years ago, the Inversion House (which is still widely used in photographs to show the funky side of Houston) would have found a home. The Astrodome as the world’s largest folk art museum is a MUST. Do it now.

  • Four score and 7 years ago, the Astrodome opened. It is imperative that we preserve this important part of history. the most sensible thing is to oturn it into modern day mini storage and bring in CASH

  • KK: You can smoke astroturf? That sounds like an unnatural high.

  • If they can tear down Wembley Stadium and Yankee Stadium, they can tear down the Astrodome. It isn’t like you are talking about Wrigley Field or Fenway Park, which actually have some historic charm.

  • @marketingwiz, they did just host a superbowl in a stadium that was slated for demolition, and was in pretty bad shape after Katrina, but so far as I know, it’s also the only superbowl to feature a 30 minute power outage that disrupted the entire game.
    The superdome is a horrible example of rehabbing a sports facility that’s passed its prime.

  • The Superdome didn’t win New Orleans the Superbowl, Bourbon Street did. And I’m no structural engineer, but I’m guessing if you tore off the walls the roof would cave in. Time to wipe away the dreamy tears and 1970’s nostalgia and deal with the current situation with a grown up mindset.

  • If they got their way overtime, that ‘grown up mind-set’ would turn Houston into one big refinery. We have enough refineries. It’s time to give a little reverence to quality of life issues for the good of the ENTIRE city. People are NOT corporations!

    Historic charm is in the eye of the beholder. Wrigley and Fenway mean about as much to me as one of Babe Ruth’s historically discarded rubbers.

    The Historic charm of the Astrodome should be appreciated by people who love classic mid-twentieth century streamlined modernism. The Astrodome may be greatest example of that style of stadium architecture ever created. I would hate for the dome to be torn down just because some people don’t have the capacity to ‘get it’.

    Sell it to Moody Gardens and let them turn it into the worlds largest indoor arboretum. They could grow a miniature forest and/or jungle in there. Whatever. I don’t care as much what the inside is used for as long as the structure itself is preserved. Even that suggestion of only keeping the hollowed out frame work over an open park would at least be some kind of tribute to the dome. But the thought of tearing down Houston’s most recognizable iconic structure for another parking lot within that ocean of parking lots that already exist in that area makes me sick to my stomach!

  • Comparing it to the Alamo is really something. The Alamo is the scene of the deaths of 182 Texas revolutionaries and 600 or so Mexican troops fighting it out in an historic, oft-mythologized battle. The only thing that ever died in the Astrodome were the hopes of Oilers fans…over and over and over again. The one great achievement associated with the Dome was its construction, which has since been eclipsed by many other stadiums. Few things that passed within its confines rose above mediocrity and a great many are infamous. I can’t celebrate it. Too much bad karma. Maybe that’s why the Texans can’t get it together. The greatest symbol of Houston’s professional sports impotence is right next door, oozing its aura of under-achievement. For the good of Houston and all that could be, for God’s sake, tear it down. It hurts to look at it.

  • Hell yes! I agree, we need to preserve it.

  • To me, as a high schooler in Houston in the early 60s, The Shamrock was an icon.

    And, the Space Center became an icon.

    And, the Astrodome became an icon.

    Granted, Clear Lake is still there but what do we have left from Houston’s glory days?

    There’s a reason we were called the Oilers. The boom has come and gone but the dome remains.

    I know it costs a lot of moola to maintain, and it would cost even more to demolish, but please, let’s do SOMETHING with it.

    Are any of our county guys listening? I think not.

  • @ Bitch, Are you medicated? why so mellow?