Is the Astrodome a “National Treasure”? Cast Your Vote and Make it So
A Houston organization devoted to preserving Houston’s rapidly vanishing historic sites and buildings is stepping up to the plate in an effort to save empty and unused Astrodome by having it declared a National Treasure.
Countless east Texans have made the drive to Houston over the years to see one event or another in the Astrodome. Baseball, football, soccer, the rodeo, auto and moto-cross racing, heavy-weight title boxing, big time college basketball, a battle of the sexes tennis match, even bloodless bull fights.
Those bull fights were something. The matadors didn’t kill the bulls — they put flags on their horns to signify a “kill” — like flag football — and the bulls had cork balls stuck on their horns so the matadors wouldn’t get hurt. That might be why the bull fights never caught on.
A preservation group called Houston Mod is urging fans of the beleaguered former “Eighth Wonder of the World” to vote for it in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual “This Place Matters” awards. The “Dome” is one of 100 eligible sites the National Trust is considering for this designation.
It should be noted that a “National Treasure” designation is only a suggestion, not a law, and it will do nothing to save the Astrodome from the wrecking ball, if that’s what local officials decide to do.
Houston Mod’s approach is catchy: “How many buildings have been the site of a Mickey Mantle home run, welcomed the Gemini astronauts and hosted a concert by Judy Garland with The Supremes all during their opening year? Just one that we know of — Houston’s Astrodome.”
Here’s a direct link to the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance website.
For many people, the most memorable Dome event of all was the Sunday night in 1978, when more than 70 thousand people went to the Astrodome in the middle of the night to welcome the Houston Oilers back from Pittsburgh, after their loss to the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game. Memories of that “Luv ya Blue” night still bring tears to the eyes of countless Oiler fans.