Tags: America, Astrodome, history, Houston, things the world needs
The Astrodome's fate will be decided some time shortly after (or on) June 25, officially, though cynics would suggest it was already decided years ago. Demolition seems to be the most likely end for the Eighth Wonder of the World, as those with the most to gain, primarily the Rodeo, have wanted for years. But in the mean time, there's still a few weeks before the county weighs the nineteen proposals that have been suggested. My personal choice of the handful that have been made public (all will be made public on the 19th) is the "skeleton dome" plan that would strip the Dome down to its steel frame, repurposing the base as a park.
On April 9, 1965, the Harris County Domed Stadium opened for the first time, the brainchild of Judge Roy Hofheinz, a man clearly ahead of his time. It immediately became synonymous with Houston, a symbol that would stand for our city for nearly fifty years. The skeleton plan not only restores a great symbol, but allows that legacy to continue. As many before me have stated, it makes the Dome into the Eiffel Tower of Houston.
Houston is not just the fourth largest city and one of the fastest growing, it's also a city growing in culture and fame. It's a city whose restaurants are receiving national recognition, whose economy is a beacon to others in the recent times of economic turmoil, whose sports teams are present on the national stage (except for the Astros…), and where transplants (who are Houstonians upon calling themselves that and no later) who thought they'd be here only "as long as they have to" realize they don't want to live anywhere else. But it may soon be the largest city in America without an Eiffel Tower to call its own. Frankly I think that's unacceptable.
New York has the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and many other landmarks. LA has the Hollywood sign and Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Chicago has Millenium Park, Navy Pier, and the John Hancock Center. Philly has the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. San Antonio has the Alamo and San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge. Seattle has the Space Needle. Even Saint Louis has an Arch! Saint Louis!
It would be insane to suggest that those cities would demolish those symbols or any other symbol of such magnitude. If Houston does so with the Astrodome, we will not have just torn down an old stadium. We'll have torn down a part of this city's soul.Be the first to comment