Preserving history at the Astrodome, SCOTUS backs property rights, NPR on Houston, don't fear sprawlAfter reading the NY Times story on the Astrodome and seeing their picture of the Dome's interior, I had a random thought on the HCSCC plan for the Dome that might both save money and improve historic preservation. Maybe all the upper level seats could be just left in place as historic artifacts? Just put in a giant convention floor at ground level (please build a structure to preserve the below-ground room for potential future use - don't fill it with dirt), along with renovated amenities at ground level, but just leave the upper level stuff there as a reminder of what the dome use to be? (maybe with a little dusting ;-) Why spend the money and time ripping it out when that space isn't needed? Maybe people will want to take historical tours of the original upper levels? If you agree and know anybody at the county level involved with the Astrodome plan, please pass this along.
And a few other quick items this week:
- The Supreme Court supports property rights, ruling that, yes, if a municipality tries to extort too much from a landowner in a permit negotiation, they are in essence taking his property without compensation. This little noticed ruling could have far-reaching impacts on cities - good ones, for the most part, IMHO - making more cities operate closer to the Houston free market model.
- National NPR story: "In Houston, America's diverse future has already arrived" Love the picture of the monks in front of Zen Mobile!
- The Non-Devastating Impact of Urban Sprawl. Bottom line: don't be scared by all those satellite imagery animations going around - it's really not a big deal, covering less than 3% of our nation's land area.