Now Picture Houston’s Astrodome Replaced by a Giant Wet Pit

NOW PICTURE HOUSTON’S ASTRODOME REPLACED BY A GIANT WET PIT Simply filling in the 9-acre, 35-ft.-deep hole in the ground where the Astrodome now sits would eat up more than $10 million of the estimated $28 million it would cost to demolish the publicly owned structure, according to county engineers. (Another $8 million of that total has already been approved, for removal of asbestos, ticket booths, turnstiles, grass berms, and ramps, plus all the seats and interior items; that demo work is already taking place.) Which leads county commissioner Steve Radack to suggest that the money be saved and the site be turned into a giant flood-preventing detention pond — “if and when” it is demolished. That’d make for a rather eloquent and down-to-earth symbol to substitute for Houston’s most famous landmark. Judge Emmett, who before the failed bond vote favored preserving the Dome by renovating it, declared after Tuesday’s election defeat that “We’re going to have to do something quick.” But commissioner Jack Cagle says he has no deadlines for a decision in mind. So who’s pushing to have the Dome demolished in a hurry? The same folks who’ve been calling the aging structure an “inconvenience” to Rodeo and Texans game visitors, write the Chronicle‘s Kiah Collier and Nancy Sarnoff: “Reliant Park’s main tenants, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and the NFL’s Houston Texans want the county to act as quickly as possible, and certainly before the Super Bowl comes to Reliant Stadium in early 2017.” [Houston Politics; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Brays Bayou detention basin: John Lienhard

24 Comment

  • Kiss that thing goodbye, man, based on what I’ve read there isn’t even a majority of Commissioners willing to vote for anything BUT demolishing it.
    Odd, though–baseball built it and football’s (Super Bowl-related interests) going to kill it.

  • Lake Hoffheinz would be a nice attraction to Reliant Park.

  • The Texans want the Astrodome demolished. The Rodeo wants the Dome demolished. That’s all anyone needs to know about who’s pulling the strings at Commissioner’s Court.

  • Just put some water in it. That’ll do for now.

  • I think the county should put the destruction of the Astrodome up to a vote as well.
    Why not? It’ll cost tax payer $ right? Well then I say vote on it. Isn’t that the precedent that we’ve now set?
    If Texans and the Rodeo wanted a quick solution, they should have loudly backed the ‘New Dome’. Or heck, they can buy it and do what they want with it… free market and all.

  • Yup – a symbol of Houston’s newfound practicality.

  • The Rodeo can market it as the world’s largest livestock watering hole. Houston’s list of superlatives never ceases to amaze!

  • Well if they do this at least leave part of the exoskeleton :) Maybe just the main outer supports. It can look like Stonehenge :)

  • Let the Texans or Rodeo demolish the building if they’re so ready for it go. The greed and absolute disdain for Houston history by both of these entities is disgusting. All the government handouts these two have received and now again they have the hubris to again come to the county money tree. All this hand ringing about tax dollars going to the dome and yet these same people remain silent as public money is spent removing this “inconvenience” so the Texans and Rodeo can get more revenue from parking. It’s the same people who rail against helping the poor then vote for a billion dollar stadium so few will ever enter. I think it’s hilarious that all the Commissioners are tighed in knots trying to not look like the bought and paid for stooges they are. Forget it good ole boys, the curtain has been pulled back on the Great and Powerful Oz.

  • A detention basin is a bad idea… it’s not even in the 500-yr floodplain.

  • Someone get these corrupt, old, medicated commissioners out of the way and get some young blood creative hippie types to figure something out. Otherwise just fill the pit with consumer garbage and make it a monument to the American zombie culture wasted lifestyle.

  • Creole I’m with you 100% on this one. Although describing the commissioners as stooges is an insult to Larry, Moe, Curly and Schemp. :)

  • The city should just make it a pre-condition for demolition permits that all Montrose townhome developers are required to move their bungalows into the pit.

    It will be like that elephant graveyard from the Lion King, except for beloved, Houston residential architecture.

    Either that, or someone find Leslie Knope–she’ll get that pit filled in.

  • Maybe this can bring some waterski/wakeboard competitions in [sarcasm].

  • Whoa @CREOLE, easy with the “tea bagging…err party” rhetoric. 180 much?

    “From CREOLE:
    …All this invented bullshit about graft..where! is your proof? I guess it’s in a capsule with Barak Obama’s Kenyan Birth Certificate.

    October 29, 2013 at 9:09 pm”

  • If the Dome is doomed anyway, I like Radack’s detention/retention pond idea. Maybe they could use the detention capacity as a way to lure new development to South Main Street. If they had detention dealt with before they even started redevelopment projects down there, it might go a long way to getting it jump started. The Astrodome could give its life so that South Main Street, at least the portion between the TMC and the South Loop, might live.

  • I think the County should remove the outer skin of the Dome and make the inside a park, fill in a majority of the hole and leave a section of it a lake.

    I’m gonna miss the Dome when it’s gone.

  • A lake would be lovely actually. Better do something with the land quick before all the tacky ass ugly people who have taken over the once great city of Houston, Texas commission David Weekly to build townhomes on it.

  • the Rodeo and the Texans… a couple of whiny-ass welfare bitches.

  • If it were turned into a large pond the boat show could be in the water

  • We need to do this:
    Texas Ski Ranch.

  • @Dana X perfectly said. I think we will be seeing the end of a few Commissioners and most likely the Judge. The Dome is in El Franco Lee’s Precinct so this doesn’t look good for him. And Judge Emmett, although seemingly a nice guy and business manager, he lacks innovation. (still waiting on commuter rail) It would be nice to elect a forward thinking judge like Hofheinz again. If for one moment the commissioners think that we can’t see what is before our eyes, then all that Rodeo/Texan money has them delusional. The Rodeo is subsidized while exploiting school children and animals; the Texans are subsidized while exploiting our desire for a legitimate NFL contender. I enjoyed the Rodeo as a child but got tired of the lack of consideration of minorities in its planning of events. It no longer represents the city’s culture,actually it continues to promote us as a bunch of back wood cowpokes who stumbled onto oil and built us a shinny hick-ville. We have forgotten the past, to embrace mediocrity,typical Houston. peace

  • @SimplySid – wow…nice comment. I agree with 85% of it, and the rest at least made me think. Rare these days.

  • I have been thinking along the same lines as It’sTimeToThink. A living lake sounds more sensible than a dead detention pond. Stock it with fish and perhaps quite a few people would pay to fish there. Opening up the roof, leaving the steel framework, would mitigate AC costs and make the setting more natural. Over time, perhaps more uses could be added that would attract enough people to make hotel rooms overlooking the lake viable. We don’t have to develop multiple uses all at once, but over time, we could wind up with a unique facility we can be proud of.