Astrodome Worst Nightmares Won't be Coming True
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Going into the meeting of the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation board on Wednesday afternoon, held in the glassy glory that is Reliant Stadium, there was a certain dread hanging in the air. (This is Houston, after all. The city where you so much as think something is a historical landmark and someone else is coming along with a bulldozer to knock it down. To build a parking garage. It seems like it's always a parking garage.)
If you looked out the window, the Astrodome -- once dubbed the eighth wonder of the world, now just a piece of Houston's history -- sat there plopped down next to Reliant Stadium looking like the ancient, in Houston terms, landmark that it is, oblivious to the little group of people in the ostentatious building next door who were about to announce the Dome's future, which has been a matter of debate for years.
Only one speaker asked to address the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation before the board members made their announcement.
Quoting from a speech President John F. Kennedy made in Houston in 1962, Arpad Lamell urged the board to remember where the impetus to build the world's first domed, air conditioned sports stadium came from, the spirit of the age that created it:
"When President Kennedy made the speech he said 'We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills'" Lamell said. "Well, ladies and gentleman, one of the "other things" included Astrodome. It opened three years later."