Vote for New Dome, Says Mayor Parker

VOTE FOR NEW DOME, SAYS MAYOR PARKER As the demolition — or, as Judge Ed Emmett might call it, the improvement — of some of the exterior features of the Astrodome begins, Mayor Parker has declared her support of the seeming this-or-nothing $217 million bond measure that would pay for a slimming down and cleaning up of the aging icon to make it ready for convention and exhibition space. Says the incumbent about the so-called New Dome: “This plan will bring jobs, a positive economic impact and a renewed sense of pride in the Dome for all Houstonians.” [Preservation Houston; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation

31 Comment

  • Mayor Parker is a great woman and a visionary. We need more people like her in Houston. SAVE THE DOME!

  • Settle down there, Private Potato. She’s just pandering to the election fever. In fact she’s doing a huge disservice to those voting public who think fiscal responsibility is much more important than saving an old rundown warehouse building at and exorbitant and ongoing cost to the public.

  • You know what else would bring jobs, a positive economic impact, and a sense of pride in the Dome? A plan for the dome that meets an actual need of the community. If the Dome is central to Houston’s identity, it should serve some purpose that matters in the lives of Houstonians.

  • Stop wasting tax payer money on this outdated eyesore and tear it down. I would have preferred an astrodome skeleton park but given the choice of a convention center or nothing, I think nothing is the better choice. By the way, we already have a convention center. 217 million could fix a lot of roads or complete the bayou parks initiative or restore memorial park, or create new parks.

  • Save the dome, ride a cowboy.

  • Lacking sentimentality, I’m of the opinion that the Dome should meet whichever fate is economically most advantageous for the people paying for it (that would be us), and a subsidization of convention business probably is not going to get the broader “us” much more than a landmark that we can see from a half mile away unless we fork over 10 bones for parking/meandering around fried twinkie stands during the Rodeo.

    If there were any visionaries involved with the future of the Dome, they would have come up with a plan to save it that paid for itself.

  • To be fair to Judge Emmett and the limited work going on at the Dome, the “improvement” or demo or whatever you want to call it will happen whether we vote to invest new money in dome or we don’t, which ultimately means investing money to demo it.

    On a project of this scale, it will always be a taxpayer funded endeavor. Me personally, I hate seeing the thing sit there unused. Houston is a transformational city, let’s do the same to the dome.

    Save the Dome.

  • Nah.. Let’s just implode it..

  • Save it. If you think the price tag to renovate the dome is too much, just wait and see what they dream up if the dome is demoed.

  • What a waste of money. $200 million plus for something few Houstonians will ever use. Why do we need a convention space to compete with downtown (which is a much better location)? Even with “plan”, the dome is gone. At best, some semblence of the old shell might remain but frankly needs a massive aesthetic re-do. The astrodome was a great venue. But it’s done and nothing will bring it back. Not even $200M of debt better spent on making the city more livable.

  • Save the Dome!

    I am all for saving the Dome, not necessarily because I want it to be a convention center, but more so because I don’t want the site to become a massive parking lot (which is most likely to happen if it isn’t saved). Houston needs a grand landmark to identify with and I think that with the right plan for The Dome we can have it.

    The plan for The Dome really needs to focus on its street level interaction with the surroundings and become a place where Houstonians could use it on a day to day basis. That doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be a park, but I do believe it could function like a great public space.

    I don’t live right by The Dome but there are a lot of citizens that live around Reliant Center and I feel that those residents should be able to interact with The Dome on a daily basis if they choose to. Some parking on the East Side of The Dome would most likely need to be replaced by green areas, retail, offices, and lofts in order to ensure a connection with the surrounding area.

    Please Save the Dome

  • Who gave Emmett permission to do anything with it before the public vote? Who does he think he is anyway?

  • I’ll totally vote for it, and unlike a lot of commenters I’ll actually vote. I appreciate the mayors support, tho we all knew she was going to support this, sort of a no brainer. It seems this had the requisite support to pass, every poll I’ve seen has it passing.

  • We have enough fiscally ‘responsible’ teabagging drones in Houston who are afraid to shop anywhere else but Walmart and we have a lovely corporate landscape that gets very little attention and respect from the rest of the world to show for it.

    I love Mayor Parker, she can pander to people who want to preserve the most iconic, famous, world renowned, innovative structure ever built in Houston all she wants. She can pander to those of us who are proud of Houston and those who want to see it grow into something better than having a reputation as the world’s biggest small town.

    After the dome is saved, the drones can spend as much time replacing sewage pipes and filling potholes as they please. Those things are important. But so is building some civic pride. That’s what keeps people passionate about where they live. No one buys a tee-shirt about the pride of paying off bonds.

  • Private Pyle, it’s that kind of idealistic thinking with no $ to back it up is what brought us the 2008 meltdown (every moron should be able to own a house, blah blah), the inevitable bankruptcy of Social Security, and the fall of such cities as Detroit.

  • No one is going to come to Houston just to visit the dome. Tear it down.

  • If they demo the dome that’s ~40 mil (being generous and including the already spent 8 mil), and once the Rodeo gets their horse arena that’s another ~150 mil. That’s just what is explicitly known, and a horse arena won’t hold the OTC. So we’re already bumping up into the costs of preservation/exhibition hall proposal shown above. So do you want to pay for something new and of unknown quality/site planning or are we going to realize the existing sunken costs of the Dome and pull up our collective boot straps on the investments we’ve already made or our we going to leave money/iconic brand recognition on the table? You the voters are the deciders but I’m going to go long on the Dome.


    To those who want to destroy the Dome you’re going to have to make a better argument than costs (as pointed out above) and then find the political will power to knock off a few county commissioners in next years elections in order to get it approved. If the Dome is demo’d it wont be till around 2015 at the very earliest. Good luck with that.

  • CommonGilligan: We aren’t talking about what YOU think caused Detroit to go bankrupt or your hysterical government spending paranoia THEORIES or OPINION. We are talking about saving the ONE historically significant structure that means anything to anybody anywhere near Houston.

    Houston is booming. People here will not lose their high standard of living if their taxes go up $8 next year. For the record, I don’t have a problem with being fiscally conservative, WITHIN REASON and when warranted. But there are times when you might have to make an exception if the stakes are high enough. If Houston had dozens of other high profile or historically relevant structures lying around sucking up tax dollars, I might be less likely to argue for saving the dome. But the reality is that Houston doesn’t have the opportunity to save historically relevant buildings every day. The dome is all we have.

    Teabaggers can take comfort in the fact that whatever happens to the dome, their won’t be many more preservation efforts of this scale or importance and then they get to go back to their daily mundane existence of pinching pennies and making sure poor children stay hungry and sick.

    For the record, one key aspect of having “common sense” is having the ability to size up an unique situation and having the flexibility to adapt to the circumstance at hand. Turning the only game changing piece of architecture ever built in Houston into another parking lot because of conservative ideology is just fcked up.

  • Lord, thank you for letting Commonsense and Private Idaho battle it out, omg, I enjoyed that –too funny

  • Sell raffle tickets @20 each. Winner gets to push the plunger to implode the dome.

  • Private Idaho: Why such hate against those that want a smaller and less all-encompassing government along the lines of what the founders of the country had in mind?
    It isn’t a stretch for people to agree that the size and scope of government has gotten out of control. To me it’s painfully obvious. Some are just trying to do something about it via policy to change things.
    Agree or disagree, that’s everyone’s right. But using disparaging language to describe someone you disagree with makes the rest of what you might say look weak.
    Personally I’d like to see a plan that would save the dome. And I’d also consider myself aligned with most of what the tea party stands for. Not everyone that wants to get rid of the dome shares political believes with the tea party and not everyone that wants to save the dome is a socialist left winger.
    Crazy, I know.

  • so i may have missed it, but what qualifications/experience does mayor Parker have in the exhibition/convention industry to know that spending $200MM to refurbish an outdated and inefficient structure in a part of town with little hotel occupancy and sitting well apart from our cities prime amenitites will return an adequate return on value?

    how does she know this development will provide a better return on value than using the same funds to build a better educated local workforce or help spur private industries in order to pay off the taxpayers tab fro the greater houston sports complex or compensate for the gaping hole in our cities unfundded pension liabilities?

    the list goes on folks, and this is still a joke.

  • and Private Udaho, please learn to better hide your blatant disdain for those with differing points of views and life experiences from coloring your posts as comedic farce. i go overboard all the time with antagonizing and scribbled thoughts, but you’ve certainly got me well beat.

    just hope you’re not trying to actually make a point rather than just antagonize.

  • How do you hide something from a teabagger?

    Put it in a book.

  • What do you get when you offer a Liberal a penny for his thoughts?

  • Why did the tea party patriot miss the anti-tax meeting? She was too busy driving on taxpayer-funded roads, sending her kids to public school, living in a safe neighborhood, drinking clean water, breathing clean air, enjoying public parks, using public lands, buying safe products, eating inspected food, and enjoying countless other services funded by tax dollars, but this isn’t shaping up like much of a punch line, so let’s say she ate so many bologna and cheese Hot Pockets that she was too fat to fit into the public library meeting room.

  • Exactly. roads, parks, schools, clean water and air, are just a few of the areas where this money would be better spent.

  • BLOW the Dome up!!! And the hell with “Judge” Roy Hofeheinz and R.E. “Bob”( who NEVER donated any money to the City that made him $600 Million) Smith spinning in their graves. Of course the Mayor is sucking up and pandering to the TAX PAYING voters.She couldn’t say don’t vote for the proposition. $200 million plus would help improve our CRUMBLING infrastructure. But the local cabal of douche bags aka politicians have already decided that they think know better.Of course they DON’T. The Dome as a ‘reimagined” convention center will be a total FLOP. Competing with the GRB is insane and stupid “thinking”. The GRB(built in 1988) in NOT booked year round,regardless of what the shills at the City & County try and tell us.VOTE NO. It’s NOT worth saving!!!

  • @Chief

    “roads, parks, schools, clean water and air, are just a few of the areas where this money would be better spent”

    This is what it’s all about. For that $210 million, we could build 500-700 miles of 2-way protected bike lanes. Every working poor family would have a nearly free alternative to their second largest household expense (30-40%). The rest of us would have healthier, happier options in our daily grind. Houston would lead North America in bike infrastructure. Liberals would like how green it is. Conservatives would like the government fulfilling a very traditional role. The average Houston butt would be a little more toned.

    But please, someone tell me about the great swap meets we would be missing.

  • It doesn’t surprise me that there would be so many mindless negative comments about the value of saving an historically significant structure in Houston in a paper that is so pro-development that, if the Statue of Liberty were here, they’d see it as an tax-sucking eye sore and in the way of “progress.” To pro-development types, nothing is sacred. Cultural heritage be damned because it is all entirely replaceable with the new and fashionable whatever is nouveau de la journée at the time, and they never see the loss and only the imaginary burden of a thing they so hastily dispose of. This tacky nouveau riche mentality partly explains how Houston has become the historical wasteland it is today, and so far behind the curve of its peer cities in terms of preservation. What the ‘knock-it-down” crowd never fully grasps is cultural heritage cannot be measured economically, try as they might with false equations and silly calculations. A cultural heritage is part and parcel of a city and its inherent citizens’ identity as inseparable as fish to water. Would St. Louis be St. Louis without the arch? What about how the Golden Gate Bridge defines San Fransisco and the west? Or how Hover Dam defines Colorado? We have the Dome. It is worth saving at any price, but for $8/ year, — OMG! and only assessed on certain pricy homes — identical to the cost of one lousy meal at fast food joint, is that puny cost really something worth squabbling over? Save the dome.