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Wait, what Astrodome mural project?

How is it we hadn’t known about this before now?

Ready and waiting

A proposal to repaint the Astrodome with a series of murals expressing opposition to human trafficking was rejected Friday by the Texas Historical Commission out of concern for the 56-year-old building.

Commission members said they were worried about acrylic latex paint being applied directly to the structure, a state antiquities landmark that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Under the proposal, submitted by the Harris County Sports & Convention Corp., which owns the 1965 dome, street artists would paint the building’s exterior circumference with murals measuring 75 feet high and 150 feet wide, under the coordination of a group called Street Art for Mankind. An eighth artist would paint an image on the roof of an astronaut in space. The art installations would remain in place for 10 years.

No one representing the county or the art group was present as commission staff presented the request for a historic buildings and structures permit.

“We have concerns about turning the Astrodome into a big billboard. It doesn’t really seem like an appropriate treatment for a historic building that is a state antiquities landmark,” Mark Wolfe, the commission’s executive director, told commissioners and members of the agency’s Antiquities Advisory Board.

Commissioners said they would support an artificial “wrap” around the dome. But they objected to paint being applied directly onto the building’s concrete surfaces and glass windows.

I did not make it through all 295 pages of the Texas Historical Commission’s agenda, so I don’t know anything more about where this came from or who would do it. It’s a noble idea, but I share the THC’s reluctance to make such a fundamental alteration to the Dome. There will one day be a true redevelopment effort, and I’d rather they start with the Dome more or less as is, rather than have to scrape off a bunch of latex paint. I would also support the “wrap” idea, which seems ideally suited for this kind of project. And I’d still like to know more about the origin of this idea.

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4 Comments

  1. Frederick says:

    But turning it haphazardly into a parking garage and TBD storage closet was okay?

  2. David Fagan says:

    13 days and counting……

  3. Mark says:

    It’s on pages 91-95 of the THC meeting agenda. The proposal read like it was written by a middle schooler.

    “The Concept:
    1- Repurposing the mythical Astrodome into an artistic landmark with gigantic street art pieces on all sides and on the dome,
    2- Creating a lasting edgy outdoor museum and art walk for people to wander, get inspired and take action! A recall of the reality of trafficking and the importance that we all be on the watch.”

    But this was my favorite part:

    “MATERIALS & EQUIPMENT
    – Exterior Water based Acrylic paint with primer
    – (1) very experimented artist and also alpinist”

  4. C.L. says:

    FFS, my grandchildren will be talking about what to do with this albatross long after I’ve left this astral plane.

    Damn you, Ed Emmett !