It’s been a whirlwind few days for the Astrodome, but Kiah Collier at the Houston Chronicle appeared to sum up the entire story remarkably well. In short, the Houston Historical Commissioner (HAHC) voted to deem the Astrodome a protected historical site, though the action only places a 90 day hold on renovation or demolition — a relatively minor hurdle– without further steps taken by the City Council. Mayor Parker has unequivocally ruled out such action.
About a month ago, this idea was first proposed by Maverick Welsh, a Historical Commissioner. Welsh also serves as the Vice President of the local GLBT Caucus (and is, by many accounts, next in line for the Presidency) and he was a candidate for the City Council back in 2009. For those who do not remember, the Astrodome has been basically a shoe-in for demolition ever since Harris County voters rejected a bond measure seeking to turn the dome into a convention center last month.
Accordingly, at the meeting yesterday, Collier reports that the commissioners voted 9-1 to impose this landmark status on the Astrodome. What this does is prevents any action affecting the exterior of the building –up to and including demolition– from taking place without the express approval of the City. However, this hold is only applicable for 90 days, making it less than effective.