Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Its the end of the 'Dome as we know it..

All native Houstonians have that one happy memory of their trip to the Astrodome, most of them are associated with an Astros game or the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (or now known as Rodeo Houston). Ever since Reliant Stadium was built right next door (and Enron/Minute Maid Park in downtown), everybody has vacated the old domed stadium. Harris County has been wondering what it would do with the building ever since HLSR, the Astros and the defunct Oilers moved out of the stadium. The only recent activity that it saw was as a shelter for victims of Hurricane Katrina (who were quickly whisked away due to Houston's own evacuation with Hurricane Rita). Initially, they [Harris County] talked about demolishing the building. Now, it seems that they are supporting a new project that entails turning the insides of the 'Dome into a hotel. It is just sad to see it being something other than an event arena. I suppose that it is better than it being leveled to the ground. I just hope that the developers pay appropriate homage to the building, because it definitely deserves it. It does not necessarily have a place in Houston's skyline, but it still holds a special place in its heart. There is a lot of history there.. Selena's last performance, millions of dollars in scholarships given away from HSLR, many sports games (although not any worth a coveted pennant), Nolan Ryan played there... the list goes on.

A Short History:
The Astrodome opened its doors on April 9, 1965, as the first domed, multi-purpose stadium. It was given the title of "The Eighth Wonder of the World," for its unique design for its time. It had a futuristic look and feel to the building. Inside, they had concessionaires that wore "space" clothes and sold "space dogs" and other such futuristic items. The Astrodome inspired the name for Astroworld, the awesome Six Flags amusement park that just closed a year ago this October. Interestingly enough, the Astrodome not the first domed structure. The local ABC affiliate, KTRK, commissioned a new building for its studios and it was a domed. The architect who worked on that project later designed the Astrodome..

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