According to the Houston Chronicle, a Houston photographer took pictures of the practically abandoned Astrodome in March 2012 and posted them on his blog in a post titled, “What I Saw When I Snuck Inside the Astrodome.” (See his blog for more articles about the Astrodome.) The pictures led to renewed interest in the future of the stadium and a referendum concerning the Astrodome was placed on the ballot last November.
However, Harris County residents voted against a $217 million bond to turn the Astrodome into a multipurpose event center. Although many suggested that the vote did not necessarily mean a decision on the stadium’s future would happen quickly, by December 2013 the exterior ramp towers were demolished and pieces of the Astrodome were being sold by the county. (Though it’s been said all of that was already in the works, regardless of the outcome of the referendum.)
Nonetheless, on January 31, 2014, the Astrodome was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Now, this doesn’t mean that the stadium must be preserved. In fact, Houston can still do whatever they want with it, including tearing it down. According to ESPN, a spokesman for Harris County, TX, stated that the fate of the Astrodome is “in limbo” – although there have been suggestions for what to do with the property and building, there is no proposed financing to accompany the proposals.
A Facebook page has been created to help save the Astrodome and the National Trust for Historic Preservation has created an online petition for us to let the Harris County Commissioners know that we want to save the Astrodome; that we understand it’s sociocultural and historical significance not only for Texas, but for the United States. As of yesterday, more than 500 people had contacted the commissioners asking them to save this significant piece of baseball history. Let’s hope it will do some good!