Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Alan I Marcus
This dissertation explores the creation of the Houston Astrodome, the first domed stadium built in the United States, from its earliest history of planning in the late 1950s to its construction and completion in the mid-1960s. It is during the time frame of 1957 to 1967, I argue, that we can see an example of the change in Houston and American society from one of an era of optimism and prosperity to one of pessimism and scarcity. By examining the arguments of stadium supporters and opponents, the alterations in design, the selection of certain technologies, and the changing opinion of what the stadium was to various individuals, we can obtain a clearer picture not just of Houston or Texas, but of the United States. Although the histories of baseball and football are important to the story, the Astrodome was conceived as more than just a sports stadium. In an era of ebullient optimism, Houston leaders championed a multiple purpose stadium that could house an almost infinite number of civic events. Even better to these stadium enthusiasts, a domed stadium would symbolize the vigor of Houston and obliterate the perceived stigma of the city as merely an oil town.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu
Jason Bruce Chrystal
Chrystal, Jason Bruce, "The Taj Mahal of sport: the creation of the Houston Astrodome, 1957-1967 " (2004). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 767.