Plan to convert Dome to indoor park will depend on details. Kiah Collier, Chron.com
Baumgardner said he was excited and inspired by the concept Emmett proposed, but that "whatever this thing is," or turns out to be, should complement, rather than duplicate, amenities the city offers, such as pavilions, amphitheaters, exercise facilities and hike and bike trails.
Inspired? By a rough-draft plan with no details, no cost projections and no real idea what, if anything, it's going to be? Perhaps Baumgardner is "inspired" by the amount of money his firm hopes to bring in from the government trough if this plan goes forward? Perhaps his family is "inspired" by the vacation plans they're making?
One thing's for sure, he can't be 'inspired' by the actual plan because there isn't one.
"We live in Katy, but we could come if there was one … and even be willing to pay for use of facilities," Jessie Cheek, a mother of five, wrote in an email to the Houston Chronicle. "More greenery is very needed."
Why is it always Katy?
First off, this plan isn't going to be "green space" in the traditional sense of the words. If anything, the plan by the Texans/HLS&R was "green space" like the Katy resident is championing. What this plan is going to be is a refurbished Dome sitting in a parking lot with some stuff inside of it. I'm guessing, although I'm not certain, that whatever "green" there is will be of the man-made type. Possibly Astroturf.
Emmett will meet next week with the Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit cities and counties hire to help determine how to approach urban land reuse projects.
"If you just have the local people fighting it out, you may never get an answer to a question like this," said Tom Eitler, the institute's vice president of advisory services.
Eitler said the institute has had panels on what to do with old stadiums, but he could not think of any that have been converted to another use.
"Ideally, we'd like to be a source of additional insight and practical approaches that could move all the Astrodome stakeholders closer to resolution by addressing each group's concerns, needs and aspirations," said Ann Taylor, executive director of the institute's local chapter.
The take-away here is that what's been presented as a "plan" isn't really a "plan" at all. What Emmett has proposed is merely a place-holder to try and stop the Texans/HLS&R plan from gaining traction.
As we move forward there's going to be more and more said about this issue and I'm afraid that little of it is going to make much sense at all. The issue of what to do with the Dome is more emotion than logic. Unfortunately, we need leaders who are able to deal in the latter while being stuck with those who are mired in the former.
As previously stated, this is not going to help things moving forward.
The worst-case scenario is that, in 2016 & 2017 when the NBA All-Star game and the NFL's big corporate, pimp-n-ho ball parties come to town that the rotting hulk of a building is still deteriorating in a sea of indecision. For all the talk of trinkets and world-classiness, nothing says "we can't lead" like a deteriorating structure for homeless cats and rats blocking out the view of NRG stadium on national TV.