…for the Astrodome, that is.
The Houston Chronicle reports that the Astrodome might not be doomed after all. The Houston Historical Commission has “voted unanimously” to discuss awarding historical landmark status to the Astrodome. If the commission further votes to give the distinction to the dome, a “90-day hold” will be placed on any effort to destroy the facility.
However, more notably, the City Council could vote to confirm the designation, thus preserving it from destruction. Such a move would be sure to pick a huge fight between the City and the County. While the dome is owned by Harris County, it is located within the City limits. This is exemplified by the fact that while 53% of Harris County voters opposed spending money to save the Astrodome, a majority of City of Houston voters voted to save it.
The Commissioner’s Court will make a further decision about the Astrodome on December 12th, most likely demolition. (Editorial note: See update) The City, while it may ostensibly block demolition, could not force the County’s hand to do something –anything– productive with the dome. Accordingly, the prognosis for such a strategy is a game of stalemate that could continue until someone blinks.
I voted for the Astrodome referendum, and Texpatriate unanimously endorsed the measure as well. However, the people have spoken, and their choice was that they were unwilling to spend any amount of pubic money to preserve the dome. Accordingly, while I still maintain some abstract hope that a private sector solution may be reached, I have resigned myself to accept that demolition is the likely outcome. Additionally, I believe that any futile antics such as the aforementioned example are counterproductive and wrong.
I just hope that a marker where home plate once stood will be commemorated in the parking lot, like they did with Yankee Stadium.
UPDATE: The Chronicle article was somewhat misleading, using the word “Commissioners” to reference a December meeting immediately following discussion of Harris County. However, in this context, they were referring to the Houston Historical Commission. The County Commissioners have not selected a meeting time to discuss the Astrodome issue at this time.