October 26, 2013

Dome Sweet Dome: Houston Astrodome Fans Share Their Memories

Astrodome. Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation
The Houston Astrodome

A 26-foot truck called the “Dome Mobile.” Three National Trust staffers. Rally towels.

How are these things connected? The three National Trust staffers take turns driving the Dome Mobile throughout Houston to hand out rally towels. And why are National Trust staffers handing out rally towels in the first place? To #SaveTheDome, of course!

The Dome Mobile is the mobile headquarters of Our Astrodome, a coalition of organizations (including the National Trust), who are working to spread information about the November 5 vote that will decide the fate of the "Eighth Wonder of the World" -- the Houston Astrodome.

Here’s the situation: Earlier this year, the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation, which manages the Astrodome and other facilities within Reliant Park, submitted an ambitious plan called the New Dome Experience to reinvent the stadium as the world’s largest special events venue. Now the fate of this architecturally and culturally significant place rests with the voters of Harris County, Texas, who will decide this Election Day if Astrodome Redevelopment Bonds will be issued to fund the Dome's reuse.

That’s where the Dome Mobile comes in. It’s a roving cheerleader for the world-famous architectural icon, where visitors can find “8 Reasons to Save the Eighth Wonder of the World,” renderings of what the renovated Dome will look like, and rally towels and other #SaveTheDome swag.

One of the most engaging features, however, has been the memory wall. All week, visitors to the Dome Mobile have been sharing their memories and comments about the Astrodome. So, going along with the Eighth Wonder theme, we thought we would share eight visitors’ comments from the memory wall.

Some comments were simple:

Astrodome Memory Wall #1. Credit: Grant Stevens
"Dome, sweet dome. Let’s keep Houston awesome!" -- Claire

Astrodome Memory Wall #2. Credit: Grant Stevens
"We love the Dome! It’s a 'keeper.'" -- M.

Other comments highlighted the many different roles the Dome has had during its 48-year existence:

Astrodome Memory Wall #3. Credit: Grant Stevens
"The Astrodome is an icon for the city of Houston. So many memories: Astros, Oilers, Rodeo, Bad News Bears, Evel Knievel, Bobby Riggs & Billy Jean King, on and on. So many families have shared special moments like these. We have to save it."

Astrodome Memory Wall #4. Credit: Grant Stevens
"Elvis! I was there."

Astrodome Memory Wall #5. Credit: Grant Stevens
"Working in the Astrodome with the Hurricane Katrina victims was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. Save our Astrodome!!!" -- Amy

Generations of Houstonians have memories of the Dome, and many feel it defines Houston more than any other landmark:

Astrodome Memory Wall #6. Credit: Grant Stevens
"The fortress of solitude. The Astrodome is Houston." -- Mike

Astrodome Memory Wall #7. Credit: Grant Stevens
"I remember going to Astros games with my grandfather and football games with my father. Great memories." -- Scott

"I want my daughter to be able to enjoy the same building her dad did when he was a kid!" -- Chaz

Astrodome Memory Wall #8. Credit: Grant Stevens
"I moved to Houston too late to attend an event in the Astrodome. I’m here now and would love the chance to visit the new Dome!" -- Alex

Bonus: Check out an interview from 88.7 KUHF with Alex (quoted above) and National Trust field office Beth Wiedower.

Grant is proud to be from a Main Street Community and the Black Dirt Capitol of the World—Conrad, Iowa! You can most often find him reading, running, or out on the road saving places.


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