We’re seeing another run at planning for the future of the Eighth Wonder of the World, as the Astrodome Conservancy is asking for public input on future uses for the iconic Astrodome.
We all know how Harris County has struggled to find a new purpose for the Astrodome; citizens don’t want to tear it down, but various plans for adaptive reuse have come up short. It certainly is a historic venue: opening in 1965 as the first domed, air-conditioned ballpark later adapted as a multiuse facility.
Now the Astrodome Conservancy is taking another run at the issue, asking for public input via a survey and meetings (both virtual and in person) to see if there’s some great game plan on the horizon. The first virtual meeting is June 10. Finding by the conservancy will eventually be presented to Harris County officials.
Over the years, the discussion over the future of the Astrodome has taken many twists and turns. While it was used for some events for a few years following the team’s departure, it has not hosted a full-time professional sports franchise since the Astros left for a new ballpark following the 1999 season. In 2009, the Houston fire marshal’s office decided that the structure was unfit for occupancy, while a 2013 referendum for a $217-million bond issue for renovations was rejected by Harris County voters. The Astrodome was designated a state antiquities landmark in 2017, meaning that any plans to alter or demolish it would require approval from the Texas Historical Commission.
RELATED STORIES: Astrodome Renovation Plan has Stalled; Harris County Approves Astrodome Renovation; ULI: Astrodome should live on; Newest Astrodome preservation plan: World’s largest indoor park; Astrodome demolition proposed by Texans, rodeo; Astrodome awarded historic designation — but it probably won’t change anything; Astrodome renovation plan shot down by voters; Fate of Astrodome again under debate in Houston; Future of Astrodome: Three scenarios; Astros turn back the clock this season to mark Astrodome opening; Is Houston angling to close Astrodome?