HOUSTON - An essay published by the New York Times over the weekend says the Houston Astrodome is too essential to be demolished to provide parking space for the 2017 Super Bowl.

The Eighth Wonder of the World, as the Astrodome was nicknamed, with its 200-foot-tall roof and nine-acre footprint, became the most important, distinctive and influential stadium ever built in the United States, writes Jere Longman of the NYT.

Longman goes on to note the history made within the dome from artificial grass to big scoreboards and the memorable moment in women's sports when Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs at tennis in 1973.

Demolition would be a failure of civic imagination, a betrayal of Houston s greatness as a city of swaggering ambition, of dreamers who dispensed with zoning laws and any restraint on possibility, writes Longman.

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