No, These Are Astrodome “Improvements,” Says Judge Emmett

NO, THESE ARE ASTRODOME “IMPROVEMENTS,” SAYS JUDGE EMMETT Harris County Judge Ed Emmett plays a game of semantics with KUHF’s Gail Delaughter to try to clear up any lingering misconceptions and assert that the removal beginning this week of the Astrodome’s exterior features — ticket booths, grass berms, concrete ramps, substations, transmission lines, and stair pavilions — isn’t what it might seem to be: “I would actually like to call them improvements to the Dome rather than demolition to the Dome. This does in no way presage any demolition of the Dome. This is an improvement that had to be made, probably should have been made a long time ago, but we’re doing it now.” [KUHF; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Candace Garcia

20 Comment

  • These improvements are just the beginning. The Dome Experience is going to make Houston a better place. SAVE THE DOME! Deport the uninspired!

  • Power substations and transmission lines are critical infrastructure …. without them the dome is dark and damp. Just another head fake to condemn this COH asset without voter approval.

  • This Dome debackle will cost hundreds of millions over the number they’re peddling now, and many millions over long term. They’re trying to find a use for it that does not exist. The only vision of this thing is a long term money pit. There’s no architectural value to this thing either, regardless what the pro-dome crowd says, it’s not the best, not the biggest, it maybe the first but that novelty wore out long time ago.

  • @commonsense Finally, I can agree with you on a post.

  • Money pit or not, commonsense clearly has no concept of what the words “architectural value” mean. This building has tons of historical and architectural significance. I don’t even know how to reason with this kind of blatant ignorance of the facts.

  • i for one can’t wait to keep forking over tax money to the sports complex so they can continue to waste our money on this dome well into my grandchild’s foreseeable future. let’s make the money pit multi-generational, save the dome…….and raise property taxes to pay for it like responsible adults for once actually.

  • You let the uninspired make all the decisions and you get an uninspired landscape.

    The Astrodome is a perfect example of mid-century architecture in all it’s oversized, streamlined, minimalistic, fabulous glory. It changed professional sports as we know it. It is Houston’s only iconic structure. In many ways it put Houston on the map unlike anything that ever came before or since.

    If the Astrodome isn’t worth saving, then NOTHING in Houston is. Houston is an amazing place. It deserves to have some of its history preserved.

    Just because some don’t appreciate or have the capacity to understand the importance of civic pride and the irreplaceable mark the Astrodome has made on our community is no reason to scrap the only one of a kind, unique piece of architecture that anyone outside Houston ever heard of.

    There is no proof WHATSOEVER to the claims that the New Dome Experience will lose any money. That is just an OPINION. But even if it were true. Not everything is about money. Sometimes you spend money to make money. Sometime you spend money to improve the community. It takes vision and balls. Exactly what the City of Houston HAD when they built the dome in the first place. Playing it safe all the time will get you NOWHERE!

  • I proposed that we fund dome renovations with fine “revenues” paid by bad developers.

  • There is no way the Judge said this with a straight face, give me a break. It makes him look ridiculous that he’s even try to explain this away as “work that needed to be don’t for a long time”. The timing makes his statement laughable. We all understand why he’s doing this, it makes him look like a fool for not just addressing the Elephant in the room.

  • I totally support repurposing the Astrodome and I agree that to say the building holds no significant architectural merit is ignorant at best. Yes, it’s no longer the biggest etc, but it was marvel when it was built, its impact on sports is enormous, from the invention of AstroTurf to the implementation of luxury boxes it was an original. As a kid it was so inspiring to walk around, it made you feel proud to be a Houstonian. I realize many on here don’t care at all about Houston history or what the Astrodome stands for to most native Houstonians, but thankfully there are enough of us left to save it. No way this proposition be defeated. Sometimes it’s not just about money, sometimes it’s about true preservation.

  • I am relatively undecided about saving the dome or not, but am leaning towards tearing it down at the moment. With that said, the pro-dome people are so adamant about it that I propose that they get together and raise the funds to modify the dome and then pay for the upkeep. Of course, any profit would be returned to them. If the dome is so amazingly important to all of society, I’m sure then could easily come up with the money in no time…

  • Disagree with Private and Densify. There is no proof that the new dome experience will not be another money pit. By the way, Houston is on the map for things far greater than a trashed out dome (NASA, Energy Capital, Med Center). If you think the dome sums up what Houston is all about, then your sense of self worth as a Houstonian is rather sad. I’m proud of this city and its accomplishments in spite of it’s landscape and climate. It’s been my home for 36 years with most of them living near Reliant Park. We don’t need an eyesore of a building to maintain a sense of community and history. We need more money to prevent flooding. We need a better transportation system. We definitely do not need snobby jerks complaining about how our leaders have no vision or sense of appreciation for an outdated facility. If you are to do anything with the dome, only use private dollars or just let it go.

  • Just bulldoze this thing already.

  • I really don’t buy that you ever really considered saving the dome with that Tea Party attitude. There are tons of things I think, why am I paying for that???, but the majority rules, but for so many, they only back the idea of majority rule, when they’re the ones in the majority, then when they lose they rail against the injustice, they threaten to recall etc, all that bullying shit, that is so 1970, grow up, if majority rule works when you’re in the majority you can extrapolate that it works when you’re in the minority as well, you can’t always win and you’re not always right, live with it. The dome will not be torn down if the majority doesn’t want it torn down, move on.

  • I think anyone who doesn’t have the capacity to envision the Astrodome as anything more than it is today is sad.

    The dome does not sum up what Houston is all about but it is an important part of our identity. How many relevant, noteworthy pieces of architecture do you think Houston has laying around anyway?

    Don’t worry, you’ll get your stupid sewer pipe and extra buses eventually, but there are other dimensions to civic responsibility that go beyond boring utilities and infrastructure. Good GOD, if some of you people had your way, the entire city of Houston would look like one gigantic row of gray painted Army barracks and Walmarts.

  • Efficiency shouldn’t come at the price of vapidity.

  • This repeated political gaming of the public has caused me to lose all respect for Emmett. I especially resent his call for ideas, then striking them all down and whipping out his own idea that had obviously been his plan all along. I’m no longer going to vote for him after this.

  • Sure the Astrodome is funky and not all that pretty anymore and pretty worn out – but who cares! Let’s fix it up and preserve it – we could do it if anybody cared! It’s a Houston architectural landmark. Other cities preserve their historical features, what’s wrong with us doing that? But no. That goes against our normal land usage ideas of “destroy! destroy! take it down! rebuild!”. Houston just makes me shake my head in disbelief sometimes.

  • The Sports Authority is looking for an excuse to continue its existence. Playing with the Dome, at taxpayers’ expense, forever seems to fit the bill.