Renewed Efforts to Redevelop Houston's Historic Astrodome

A nonprofit hopes to create a viable plan for the iconic stadium—and find a way to pay for it.

1 minute read

May 26, 2021, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

The "Eighth Wonder of the World" may soon get a new lease on life, reports Zach Despart for the Houston Chronicle. Houston's Astrodome, which opened in 1965 as the world's first indoor, air-conditioned stadium, is the home of the first installation of the artificial grass known as "Astroturf" and has hosted hundreds of legendary concerts and events.

The stadium, which has been sitting vacant since the early 2000s, is a beloved part of Houston history but has failed to gain the necessary funding for any of its proposed redevelopment schemes. "Over the years, calls to repurpose and rejuvenate the dome have spawned a variety of ideas for converting it to a movie studio, a space-themed park, concert and convention venue, hotel and entertainment complex, even an indoor amusement park. None of those ideas, however, included a financing plan county leaders would support." 

Now, a nonprofit group called the Astrodome Conservancy "is seeking the public’s input to craft a pitch to Harris County Commissioners Court, which oversees the building." The group wants to "develop a realistic proposal" for a "community-supported vision for the future of the Astrodome," according to president Beth Wiedower Jackson. Although local leaders seem "unlikely to support" public funding such as bonds, "Wiedower Jackson said the Astrodome Conservancy is in talks with philanthropies and other outside groups about contributing toward a renovation plan."

Thursday, May 20, 2021 in Houston Chronicle

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21, 2024 - The Architect's Newspaper

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Ornate, tan stone capitol building with a gold dome roof and low-rise city buildings in the background.

States Are Banning Guaranteed Income Programs

Four states now have laws in place that prevent cities and counties from creating or continuing guaranteed income programs, and several more have tried or are trying.

May 23, 2024 - Bloomberg CityLab

3D rendering of blue flying car over a cityscape and buildings, a river, and bridges in the background.

Minnesota Legalizes Flying Cars

A new Minnesota law outlines state registration of “roadable aircraft” and legalizes their use on state roads and highways.

38 minutes ago - The U.S. Sun

Green highway signs on Highway 23 for Ann Arbor and Flint, Michigan.

Michigan DOT Nixes Ann Arbor Highway Expansion

In response to public feedback, the Michigan Department of Transportation is no longer considering options to widen U.S. 23 on Ann Arbor’s east side.

1 hour ago - MLive

View of downtown Dallas, Texas skyline with skyscrapers against twilight sky.

Dallas Hopes to Boost Economy With TV and Film Tax Breaks

The Dallas city council voted unanimously to request a designation from the state that would allow the city to offer sales and use tax exemptions for redevelopment of TV and film production facilities.

May 27 - The Dallas Morning News

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.