Tear down the Astrodome

The Houston Press reports on the possible fates of the Astrodome.

Houstonians are properly proud of the Astrodome. Billed as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, it was the first air-conditioned sports stadium and an excellent example of the architecture of its time. The combination of audacity and publicity that went into building it is the trademark of this city. Even 40 years later, people the world over hear “Astrodome” and think “Houston”.

And it ought to be torn down.


Because it’s time to move on. And Houston is a city that moves on, to the new, the modern, the better.

For all its past glory, what is the Astrodome today? A crumbling third-rate sports stadium that no one wants to use; at best, an elegant ruin.

Houston is not a city of elegant ruins. We lack the natural beauty to contrast them against—not here are the rolling hills of Rome, the green plains of London, the stunning harbor of New York City.

Houston is a city built in a swamp. It was built for commerce by people who wanted the wealth that commerce brings.

And with that wealth, the people of Houston bought what new money can buy: modern art, modern architecture, modern medicine. Always the newest, and always the best of the new.

That’s what Houston is. If it is great for anything, it is great for that.

And that’s why Houston should demolish the Astrodome, without fanfare, in the dead of night. And when Bill White is asked why the international symbol of Houston was unceremoniously levelled, he should gesture towards Reliant Stadium and say “Because we have something better now.”

(He should go on to say that “Jordy Tollett has been fired“, but that’s a subject for another time.)

One Response to “Tear down the Astrodome”

  1. Spillmann Says:

    In the fall of 2003, I attended the last rock concert to be held at the Houston sports arena formerly known as The Summit. Appropriately enough, the joint was closed down by Houston’s own ZZ TOP. I attended this concert because my then girlfriend (now fiacee) got free tickets from the local ClearChannel classic rock station. The package included a bus ride down there from College Station.

    Along on the bus ride was a College Station icon Don Ganter who owns several local bars including the Dixie Chicken (Don passed away recently, RIP). Since we rode the bus together, we also entered The Summit as a group. As we passed through the turnstyles of The Summit, one of my fellow College Stationites asked Don, “Can you believe they sold this place to a church?”

    Don replied, “There must be a lot of money in that god business.”

    Who knows? Maybe there is hope for the Astrodome. The sentimentalist in me would hate to see it torn down, but I would hope it has a better use than a hosting a megachurch. Then again, that would probably be appropriate for Houston.

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