LaPorte resident Ted Powell, who spearheaded the restoration of the 1956 Sylvan Beach Pavilion, says it was placed on the National Historical Registry. That opened up funding which helped restore the pavilion.
"I think the same path is possible for the Astrodome, because once you get these historical designations, then that opens up sources of revenue that aren't currently available. We have over $4 million dollars for the pavilion, and it was granted within a week after it was officially registered by the National Park Service in Washington on the National Historic Registry."
Powell, who wants to save the Astrodome, says he submitted an application to the Texas Historical Commission to get the Dome recognized as a historical landmark.
"We just got notified Friday that they thought the draft was very good, and that with just a little tweaking, they would have it on the docket for the third quarter meeting of the historical commissioners. And if they approve it, then we'll forward it to the National Park Service, and it could be listed on the National Registry by perhaps the first quarter of next year."
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett says he agrees with Powell that the Astrodome is worthy of historical designation, but it does come with conditions.
"With historic designations comes all kinds of other strings, what limitations are put on you as to what you can do with it. For example, one of the proposals has been to take it back to just the shell. Does that meet historic designation? Probably not. So, we have to just wait and see."
Emmett says he's waiting to hear the plan from the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation.
"On the 19th when they meet, they will have an agenda item for what they'll want to recommend to us. What is presented to us on the 25th by the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation, I guess in theory, we could all say, 'Yeah, it's a great idea. We're for it'. But once it's presented to us, then Commissioner's Court will look at it and make a decision. But I do think we're going to make a decision sooner rather than later."
He adds there's no deadline for Commissioners to decide which proposal they will select, and if need be, when Harris County residents will vote on how to pay for it.