One of the best examples of the ULI mission in action is Advisory Service Panels, where cross-disciplinary teams of ULI members volunteer their expertise to help solve the toughest land-use challenges. Our own Harris County Domed Stadium (the Astrodome) was the subject of a ULI Advisory Service Panel, uniting ULI volunteers from California to New York to advise on the future of the Astrodome.
“We quickly realized that the historic value of the site made retaining the Astrodome structure essential,” said panel chair Wayne Ratkovich, CEO of The Ratkovich Company. Further, the ULI Panel found the complexity of such a monumental transformation – turning a vast empty interior space (dubbed the “biggest room in the world” by one panelist) into a programmable indoor park and civic space – calls for the adoption by Harris County of a framework of guiding principles to ensure a high-quality outcome. “The re-purposed Astrodome must be aesthetically and historically sensitive as well as functional and self-sustaining,” the report said. Since then, the Astrodome has been designated as a historic landmark, but its future remains uncertain.
The Future of the Dome
Adopting the ULI panel’s findings, The Astrodome Conservancy organized to guide the next steps forward. Now, they’re asking ULI members and friends throughout Harris County to weigh in with your own ideas. Together, we are building tomorrow, and this is your chance to shape the Astrodome of tomorrow.