(Dome's day: Public must decide the future of the iconic, empty and expensive Astrodome, The Apple Dumpling Gang, ChronBlog, 06/15/2010)
In a town with little pity for buildings that have outlived their purpose, the Reliant Astrodome sits vacant and belittled in the shadow of its massive successor, Reliant Stadium.Such is the case of the Astrodome, aged, falling apart, and standing with no purpose. A prime candidate for the wrecking ball.
Yet, this being Houston (OK, technically Harris County) and Houston being populated by Houstonians, there's a sizable chunk of the population whose own selfish desire to relive the memories of their childhood is threatening to trump common sense. Even supporters of additional, massive, public expenditures on the aging structure have to admit that the Dome serves no useful purpose. Every option that's been forwarded to keep it standing has relied on the public largess to keep it a going concern. In a city that already has too many sites that are drawing from the treasury, adding another huge cost driver would be a mistake. A mistake on a building that's outlived it's useful life. A repeat of a mistake voters made when they financed it out beyond it's depreciation end-date in a vain effort to keep the Oilers. Emotions and memories are great things, they define us, and provide us with perspective over time.
The most important thing to remember is this: Even after the Astrodome is gone those memories will still be there. And you'll have more time to think about them when you attend an event at Reliant because finding a parking space won't take so long.