November 8, 2013
The Sad Fate (But Historic Legacy) of Houston’s Astrodome

The life of the world’s first domed stadium began with a bang—an ineffably Texan bang. On a warm January morning in 1962, seven men, sporting cowboy hats and eschewing shovels, broke ground on what would become the Houston Astrodome, home of the Houston Astros and the Houston Oilers, by firing Colt .45 revolvers into the dirt.
When the Dome was inaugurated three years later, it held the world’s largest room and, in the spirit of Texas truisms, was twice the size of any enclosure ever built before it. By its first birthday in 1966, the Astrodome was the country’s third-most-popular manmade tourist attraction, behind only the Golden Gate Bridge and Mount Rushmore. For years after its birth and with great hubris, the Dome was heralded as “The Eighth Wonder of the World.”
This week, Houstonians cast their ballots on a referendum to determine the stadium’s future. Had the measure for a $217 million taxpayer-funded renovation passed, the world’s first domed stadium would have been refashioned into something of a convention center, hawked somewhat deliriously as “The New Dome Experience.” While the proposal did not garner any organized opposition, the measure narrowly failed. The Astrodome now appears likely to buckle under the weight of the calls to demolish it. As debate about the issue grew over the past few months, the discourse was not just limited to whether the Astrodome should stand, but also what the building has stood for as a national icon.
Read more. [Image: AP/Pat Sullivan]

The Sad Fate (But Historic Legacy) of Houston’s Astrodome

The life of the world’s first domed stadium began with a bang—an ineffably Texan bang. On a warm January morning in 1962, seven men, sporting cowboy hats and eschewing shovels, broke ground on what would become the Houston Astrodome, home of the Houston Astros and the Houston Oilers, by firing Colt .45 revolvers into the dirt.

When the Dome was inaugurated three years later, it held the world’s largest room and, in the spirit of Texas truisms, was twice the size of any enclosure ever built before it. By its first birthday in 1966, the Astrodome was the country’s third-most-popular manmade tourist attraction, behind only the Golden Gate Bridge and Mount Rushmore. For years after its birth and with great hubris, the Dome was heralded as “The Eighth Wonder of the World.”

This week, Houstonians cast their ballots on a referendum to determine the stadium’s future. Had the measure for a $217 million taxpayer-funded renovation passed, the world’s first domed stadium would have been refashioned into something of a convention center, hawked somewhat deliriously as “The New Dome Experience.” While the proposal did not garner any organized opposition, the measure narrowly failed. The Astrodome now appears likely to buckle under the weight of the calls to demolish it. As debate about the issue grew over the past few months, the discourse was not just limited to whether the Astrodome should stand, but also what the building has stood for as a national icon.

Read more. [Image: AP/Pat Sullivan]

  1. karalitaa reblogged this from theatlantic
  2. ddouble001 reblogged this from theatlantic
  3. sama-el reblogged this from theatlantic
  4. earlgreyandlattes reblogged this from theatlantic
  5. randycwhite reblogged this from theatlantic
  6. msjanetweiss reblogged this from theatlantic
  7. imbackyetagain reblogged this from iamvictoriaanne
  8. iamvictoriaanne reblogged this from theatlantic
  9. i-sail-these-ships reblogged this from mrsbinkii
  10. feliciaanne reblogged this from theatlantic
  11. mrsbinkii reblogged this from theatlantic
  12. carpinska reblogged this from theatlantic
  13. iceymushrooms reblogged this from theatlantic
  14. sanjibaratiearc reblogged this from theatlantic
  15. amongwhisperings reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    3
  16. milbullrdr reblogged this from theatlantic
  17. alloku reblogged this from theatlantic
  18. thisiscitylab reblogged this from theatlantic