The ongoing debate over what to do with the Astrodome continues, despite the fact that voters have rejected proposals to maintain it, and it’s currently just a massive storage facility for Harris County. Still, until the thing is actually demolished, there’s hope for those who want to see the space develop into something of value to the community again.
We were enthusiastic about the proposal from the Houston Rodeo and the Houston Texans to replace the Astrodome with a Tiny Astrodome, because adorable, but not everyone shares our affection for the quirky conceit of building a wee little monument to the 8th Wonder of the World in the same space.
One of the people who can see a more productive use for the Astrodome as a still-standing facility than as a bulldozed park with a tiny version of what was once great in the middle of it is Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. Emmett’s proposal for a massive indoor park that preserves the spirit of the original Astrodome—”an indoor place to do outdoor activities,” he told Texas Monthly recently—recently got a little more tangible. And, of course, a lot tinier, thanks to Astros historian Mike Acosta. As the Houston Chronicle reports:
The backdrop for their brainstorming was a scale model of the Astrodome handmade by Astros employee Mike Acosta, who, among other things, serves as the team’s historian.
“The Astrodome has been a lifelong study of mine,” Acosta told the group. “I think it’s the single most important building in Houston.”
Acosta said it occurred to him that it would be helpful to have a 3-D model of the unusual structure. So he built one, starting about six months ago. The model is 2 feet in diameter, with one inch representing 30 feet.
Saturday’s get-together, organized by Houston Arts and Media, was designed to help fine tune Harris County Judge Ed Emmett’s proposal to save the venerable structure.
None of this means a whole lot to the future of the Astrodome, of course, because that future is still in contention with countless ideas on the table, many of which are both pretty good and unlikely to result in actual action. Judge Emmett’s proposal (which after the weekend’s meeting may include a zipline!) seems to be gathering some momentum right now, but after all of the proposals that have come and gone, it’s hard to have much faith in what’ll come next. At the very least, though, there’s an adorably tiny vision of what this idea for the Dome might look like in Houston. Everything else is harder to believe in, when it comes to the Astrodome’s future.
(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)