Now on Craigslist: Original AstroWorld Model

Why is the original scale model of AstroWorld listed for sale on Craigslist? Curator Bill Davenport spent a lot of time dusting the giant model before exhibiting it at his Norhill gallery last fall. He says he’s going to need to move the “irreplaceable (if awkwardly large) bit of Houston history” out of Optical Project on 11th St. soon — “and I really don’t want to dis-assemble it and put it back in Mr. Henderson’s garage, where it will get dirty again.” Ed Henderson built the model in 1967; it was returned to him when the park was dismantled 6 years ago — after long stints in Judge Hofheinz’s 9th-level suite at the Astrodome, and in a Foley’s display case downtown before that. For the Craigslist appearance, Davenport jacked up the asking price to $5,500, but says Henderson would accept $3,000 “from somebody who planned to keep the model in Houston, or donate it to the Houston Public Library’s Metropolitan Research Center.” Library representatives have told Davenport they’d like to put the model on display in the newly expanded Julia Ideson building downtown, but don’t have the money to pay for it.

Photos: Bill Davenport

9 Comment

  • I know that with all the cuts, and librarians being laid off, hours shortened, etc. that money is tight but seems like for such a piece of Houston history that the money could be found.

    Three thousand would be pocket change for some companies in downtown. Or around town for that matter. And they’d get a nice plaque honoring their donation! What a deal.

  • why doesn’t Henderson just donate it to HPL and take the write off? obviously there is no market for this thing.

  • Why doesn’t he just donate it himself?

  • Good thought that..

  • So if I’m reading this article correctly, the situation is that Henderson (who presuably was paid for his work on the model back in ’68) now has the model back in his hands. But rather than donating the model to the library himself so that his work can live on in perpetuity and he can take a write off, he is trying to sell it so he can get $3000 in easy money?? But yet he wants the buyer to donate it?? Each to his own, I guess.

  • Mr. Henderson may just be in his 70s or 80s now and on social security. He may not even be filing an income tax return so he could not use a ‘write off’.

    It’s not exactly fair to slam the man without knowing the actual circumstances.

  • I’d kinda like to buy it and put it on display at that big empty lot across the freeway from the Astrodome.

  • And my firm, I. A. Naman + Associates, Inc., the mechanical and electrical engineering firm that designed Astroworld, the Astrodome and related facilities – now owns it! We will be donating it to the Houston Public Library as soon as we can work out the details.

  • Thomas Barrow = hero.
    Thank you for this, sir. You have saved a small part of the history of a town that too often ignores its past.