After a few years of mulling it over, the Texas Historical Commission voted this morning to give State Antiquities Landmark status to the Astrodome (formally known, the agency notes, as the Harris County Domed Stadium). About a dozen Houston buildings have the designation (which can also go to shipwrecks and archaeological sites); the status means that any attempts to “remove, alter, damage, salvage, or excavate” the Dome — a spread of activity which probably includes installing that parking garage in the bottom — will now also need a permit from the state.
THC’s Executive Director Mark Wolfe says in this morning’s statement that the Dome is “one of the most significant sports and entertainment venues in history, setting the standard for modern facilities around the world.” The structure will continue adding to its sports resume during the impending Super Bowl week by storing Super Bowl-related things and being lit up nearby (as rendered above).
The stadium was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014 (though that designation doesn’t always mean much in terms of what can be done to the buildings that receive it). The city, for its part, held off on giving the Dome city protected landmark status under Mayor Parker the year before.
- Houston Astrodome Receives State Antiquities Landmark Designation from Texas Historical Commission [Texas Historical Commission]
- Previously on Swamplot: National Historic Preservationists To Gather in Houston, Gawk at Astrodome; City Wants To Create Historic District To Protect What’s Left of Freedmen’s Town Historic District
Rendering of Astrodome Super Bowl lighting plan: Super Bowl Hosting Committee