The Texas Historical Commission voted unanimously today to designate the Harris County Domed Stadium – known worldwide as “The Astrodome” – as a state antiquities landmark, recognizing its historical significance and providing it with important legal protections.
The Dome was nominated for the honor by two Harris County residents, Ted Powell and Cynthia Neely, shortly after its listing on the National Register of Historic Places in January 2014. Its designation means that the Astrodome’s owner, Harris County, must consult with and receive permission from the historical commission before pursuing any significant alterations. The county and the commission have been working together closely since the county announced plans to repurpose the Astrodome.
“I greatly appreciate the Texas Historical Commission’s actions today,” said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. “The unanimous decision just shows that, other than the Alamo, the Astrodome is one of the most historic places in Texas. We will certainly continue to work closely with the commission on our future plans for the Dome.”
Harris County Commissioners Court voted unanimously in September to revitalize the iconic landmark, agreeing on a $105 million plan to install two levels of underground parking and converting the building’s 550,000 square feet into useable public space.
The Texas Historical Commission comprises 12 members, appointed by the governor to staggered six-year terms. The agency employs about 175 people who work in various fields, including archeology, architecture, history, economic development, heritage tourism, public administration and urban planning. The commission works to preserve Texas’ architectural heritage by helping preserve, restore and operate properties, museums and archaeological sites around the state.