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History's Long Goodbye

Part of the Astrodome is already coming down: Only 11 days to demolition

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4 Astrodome exterior demolition October 2013
The circular tower shown here is one of four Astrodome ramp towers scheduled to be demolished on Dec. 8. Photo by Eric Sandler
Places_Astrodome_aerial view
The ramp towers were added to the Astrodome in the late 1980s to accommodate 10,000 added seats. Photo by Jack Opatrany/Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
4 Astrodome exterior demolition October 2013
Places_Astrodome_aerial view

Only a few weeks ago, Harris County voters rejected a $217 million bond to transform the Astrodome into an event and exhibition center, leaving the ultimate fate of the structure unknown. Reliant Park officials say that the demolition of the four circular ramp towers attached to the Astrodome will now take place soon.

The four ramp towers are currently scheduled to come down on Sunday, Dec. 8 just after 9 p.m., but that the demolition date is dependent on weather conditions.

The towers were added in the late 1980s to accomodate a 10,000 seat and luxury suite expansion.

The Reliant Park area will be free of fans and tailgaters as the Houston Texans play a Thursday night road game that week.

The towers, added in the late 1980s to accomodate the 10,000 seat and luxury suite upper-deck expansion, were not part of any future plans being considered for the Astrodome. Reliant Park officials say that the exterior demolition work is needed whether the Astrodome is repurposed or fully torn down.

Initial demolition work on the exterior portions of the Astrodome began back in October. At that time it was reported that the removal of the ramp towers, as well as asbestos abatement, would not start until December.

In spite of the demolition plans and the voters rejection of turning the structure into an event and exhibition center, the Houston Archeological and Historical Commission recently voted unanimously to consider an effort that could possibly give the Astrodome landmark status. The commission will meet again in December when members are expected to decide whether or not they will move forward on the designation. The final decision on whether the status is granted will come from City Council.

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