The Astrodome will soon become a hot topic again at Harris County Commissioners Court now that state Sen. John Whitmire's bill calling for a public vote on turning the structure into parking and event space died in the Texas Legislature.
“We've approved architects to begin working on the drawings,” says Commissioner Steve Radack of the $105 million project. “Our county engineering department will work with the architect and eventually it will work its way to Commissioners Court and we'll see what the recommendation is.”
“We do need to look at it as far as the future is concerned and talking with the Texans and Rodeo to try to work together to come up with some plans.”
James Glassman, founder of a preservation group called Houstorian, looks forward to new life for the dome.
“The structure is sound, the building is sound, its certainly not falling apart or dilapitaded,” he says. “I know they power washed the skin, but anybody who says it is falling down needs to talk with a structural engineer.”
The county wants to raise the dome floor to accommodate two levels of parking spaces below and open even space on the street level.
“Rentals from parties, whether its OTC or if the Hide Party of the Rodeo comes back, that would be terrific,” says Glassman. “You could a rock concert of sporting event in there again, the great seats are gone but its a big giant room with air conditioning and lighting.”