State panel delays vote on Astrodome designation

FILE - This May 16, 1991, file photo, shows an aerial view of the Houston Astrodome in Houston. A glimmer of hope surfaced in the effort to keep the Houston Astrodome, the world's first multipurpose domed stadium, from being torn down with its addition this week to the National Register of Historic Places. But the designation alone will not be enough to prevent the demolition of the so-called "Eighth Wonder of the World," according to officials. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Larry Reese, File)

HOUSTON (AP) — The Texas Historical Commission has postponed a vote on whether to designate the Houston Astrodome as a “state antiquities landmark,” a status that would make it harder to tear down the iconic structure.

The future of the Astrodome is uncertain, although it’s not in immediate danger of being torn down after voters last year declined to authorize $217 million in bonds to turn it into a multipurpose special events center.

The commission postponed the vote Wednesday during its meeting in the West Texas city of Alpine.

The designation would mean any proposals to alter or demolish the Astrodome would need commission approval. While the designation wouldn’t bar demolition, preservation groups say it would provide extra protection against it.

The Astrodome has been closed to all events since 2009.

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