HOUSTON – You can find history in Houston but you may have to look because preservation has never been one of the cities strong points. But now, it is the Astrodome that is on the verge of extinction.
In historic Market Square, one of the few parts of Houston where historic structures gather, there is plenty of debate about another piece of history – “the eighth wonder of the world.”
“That is a lot of money. But still it is a part of history,” said Livingston Carl, a Houston voter.
The money is the $217 million bond measure before voters to turn the mothballed giant into a new multi-purpose space that would be open to conventions, concerts or just about anything.
There is no organized opposition to the proposal, but there are plenty of people not voting yes.
“I think it should probably just be taken down if it is not going to be used for anything else right,” Wassim Khan said.
“There is history and there is time to move on as well,” said voter Steven Smith.
There is also debate.
“Might as well keep it. Cost money to tear it down, cost money to keep it. Refurbish it. If you refurbish, it can start making money again,” Carl said.
Harris County officials have said the only other option is to raze the dome, or raise the cash to fix it.
“It is costing us one way or the other,” voter Fatima Khan said. On Saturday, all that history will make at least a little cash. “It is a pretty cool item to have,” said Leah Mastagilo of SMG, the company that runs Reliant Park.
She is talking about one of 10 turnstyles from the dome just some of more than 100 items hitting the auction block.
“We anticipate that people will be lining up really early,” she said.
It is not just an auction, Astroturf, seats and even shirts will also be sold piece by piece.