Comment of the Day: What Keeping the Dome Means

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT KEEPING THE DOME MEANS “People do not want to save the Astrodome because it is a landmark of National / Worldwide significance. People want to save the Astrodome because it is just about all we have in Houston in terms of somewhat significant landmarks. Blowing up the Astrodome is a concession that we never do anything of any lasting significance in Houston. We are just a very fancy tent city set up to house the oil industry as long as they need us. But, once Elon Musk has us zipping around in pneumatic tubes instead of internal combustion engine vehicles, Houston will just empty out and be forgotten. Keeping the Astrodome is an attempt to make Houston feel permanent and not a temporary boomtown precariously tied to the fate of one sector of the economy.” [Old School, commenting on Comment of the Day: The Symbol of the City] Illustration: Lulu

23 Comment

  • Very eloquent.

    Although it could be added, the Astrodome is a landmark of national/worldwide significance. Otherwise the NY Times, NPR, etc. would not be covering these events.

  • if you cared about houston’s mortality, then you (and our fine mayor) should have ensured this money was spent to get the space shuttle here. that opportunity has past, but it doesn’t mean we should piss this money away on an outdated sports stadium (even yankee stadium was destroyed). use it for something intellectual — a great museum or cultural site. or better yet, save the money. it’s not like we have extra money we must spend.

  • I think this website should be called Trolllot. It is the Houston haters best friend.

  • Old School needs to get out more. The Houston metropolitan area contains many landmarks of international significance, among them the Ship Channel, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (the first traditional Hindu Mandir of its kind in North America), the Menil Collection museum building by Louis Kahn, the Rothko Chapel, and Philip Johnson and John Burgee’s Williams Tower. Additionally, and unlike the Dome, none of these landmarks are adrift in a sea of for-pay parking lots.

  • All this over a tax dollar sinkhole of a defunct sports stadium; a crumbling pile of concrete, mold, and asbestos in the middle of an ocean of parking lots.

    If that’s our landmark, I’d just as soon we go without one. Tear it down already.

  • “…the Menil Collection museum building by Louis Kahn.” Yeah I love that building. But don’t forget the MFAH’s Caroline Wiess Law Building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

  • Space Shuttle? That was politics, everyone in the Texas Delegation tried to get a shuttle for NASA, but you see Texas has the worst reputation among the Democrats, they have no reason whatsoever to do us favors and with pariahs like Cruz, I don’t see that changing anytime soon. As for Elon Musk, you have much more faith in him than I do, he seems a bit full of shit to me. As for Houston being rolled up if we have electric cars etc, even heard of the Texas Medical Center? As for the Astrodome, I agree, let’s save it.

  • Creole, Ted Cruz had yet to be elected when Chuck Schumer rubbed NYC getting the shuttle in the faces of Texans.
    Second, Texas having “the worst reputation among the Democrats” is NO reason to play politics with the appropriate destination of the shuttle.
    Third, “they have no reason whatsoever to do us favors” is a ridiculous assertion. That you would even assert that the only justification for obtaining the shuttle would be a political favor is ridiculous and appears to demonstrate that you agree with Schumer et al sticking it to Houston because you apparently dislike Texas’ politics. You are the problem–NOT Ted Cruz. That is all.

  • The Menil Collection was designed by Renzo Piano.

  • @ Robert Boyd – sorry, but the MFAH’s Caroline Wiess Law Building was not designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. However, two additions were by Mies van der Rohe and is the only museum he ever designed (which is significant in its own right)

    There is only one Frank Lloyd Wright structure in Houston – a residence in Bunker Hill.

  • Don’t overlook the George R. Brown, designed by Le Corbusier.

  • Um, wasn’t the GRB designed by CRS, a Houston company? I know it looks like a copy of the Pompidou Center in Paris, though … which, interestingly, was designed by Renzo Piano. Quite different from the Menil Collection here, which he also designed!

  • As a lifelong inner loop Houstonian (Heights & West U) I think it’s safe to say that the majority of anti-domers are either recent transplants or 281ers. That is all.

  • Congrats to Joey A for perfectly encapsulating the average Swamplot commenter mindset. LOL at “281ers.” It’s been an overlay for over a decade.

  • Joey A., I don’t know about that, I grew up in what is now the suburbs and live outside the belt now, and I’d love to see the dome restored. Even if it’s a bit of a boondoggle, I think it should be done. Yes it’s an old building, I don’t expect it to be cost effective to repair. What it is to me though is one of the major symbols of Houston, a major part of my youth, and maybe it would be nice to see something reused in this town instead of razed.

  • Visigoth era Rome had tons of amazing historical landmarks of little utility to them or their taxpayers.

    That worked out well for them.

  • @Joey A see what happens when you assume?

  • I’m such an old-timey Houstonina, my cellphone is 713, and they only gave those out in the 90’s. Never the less, if it was only inner loopers that have to pay for the City boondoggles I wouldn’t care so much, but we’re all forced to pay for these commie boondoggles.

  • I will likely vote against the Dome. I’m definitely a minority among my architect peers who would prefer to see the dome saved. I believe in preservation but preservation of the Dome should have begun before Reliant stadium was built. So my vote will be more of a protest of the past bad decisions that got us here.

    I don’t think we need the Dome as a landmark. If you don’t think Houston has significant cultural landmarks, you might not be getting out enough.

  • Sorry, the Astrodome is not a national landmark. It’s no loss if it goes. Were you born and raised in Houston in the 50’s, went to baseball games there, etc? We get it – you are full of nostalgia for the Dome in its heyday.
    Get over it. No one comes to Houston to see it, nobody wants to see it when they have a few hours free on a visit to Houston, 90% of the rest of the country has no idea it’s even here. The voters will decide. Hopefully they will vote no on this boondoggle and we won’t have to hear about this any more. It’s not worth $200M to save. That’s just a down payment. If we keep it, the ensuing continual hemorrhage of money will be impressive, and may eventually cause the most diehard dome-o-philes to reconsider.
    I’m not from Houston. I love Houston. I don’t care about the dome. And the George R. Brown is one butt-ugly building. Le Corbusier my @ss!
    “Get over the dome!” Maybe I’ll put that on a bumper sticker.

  • I normally think that most Swamplot posters have at least above average IQ but now I wonder. The MFAH/Frank LLoyd Wright and George R. Brown/Le Corbusier posts were pretty obvious sarcasm.

  • i’m just glad others are in the know that the Renzo Piano Menil building was voted as one of the most significant architectural buildings of the last century.

    I assure you the astrodome was nowhere near making the list, but i do find enjoyment in the idea of Houstonians marvelling it as if it was the Arc De Triomphe.

  • I still haven’t seen one viably profitable reuse for the dome. I moved to Houston in 1954. I was in the marching band and played in one of the first games played in the dome.
    I watched u of h play the first game in the dome. I saw the Astros, Oilers, rodeos, concerts, Brewster McCloud, bull fights, boxing, basketball, OTC shows, and many other events there. I have many fond memories of the building, but it still doesn’t bother me since I haven’t seen a promising reuse proposed for the building.
    The only purpose I thought had promise was to
    create a space & technology museum. You could stand up those Saturn rockets and hang capsules and shuttles from the roof with space paraphernalia, and moonrovers on the floor. Recreate Neil Armstrongs landing on the moon. That’s the kind of attraction that would be unique to Houston’s history, and a tourist destination that would take advantage of the scale of the dome, and it’s ties to N.A.S.A. It was named after the Astronauts, and the groundskeepers did wear space suits.
    But that’s not what was decided and what has been put forth by the county is weak.
    Tear it down and let’s move forward!