Texas Tidbits

Once the pride of Houston, the Astrodome now faces a midlife crisis.

The Reliant Park complex in south Houston is chock-full of parking lots, convention space, and ball fields. At the park’s north end is Reliant Center, a convention center and exhibit hall with more than 1 million square feet of space; the Texans’s Reliant Stadium blankets the park’s west side; to the southeast is Reliant Arena, which could be Reliant Center’s baby brother; and at the center of it all is Judge Roy Hofheinz’s mushroom-shaped brainchild, the Reliant Astrodome.

This past April the Astrodome turned forty, and like many at its age, the dome is scratching for a new identity, a facelift perhaps, or maybe an all-out makeover. Houstonians—from city officials to bloggers—have scrambled to generate ideas on what this century’s Astrodome should be. Some of the more inventive suggestions include an indoor winter park, a science-and-technology museum, and a shopping center. But more times than not, the debate simply boils down to should it stay or go.

No matter the result, it is almost guaranteed that whatever the Astrodome becomes, it will be

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