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Domecoming: A Look at the Past and Present of the Astrodome

Jordan Magaziner Steinfeld
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Phoebe Tudor

Astrodome Conservancy chair Phoebe Tudor all smiles on the field. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Less than two hours after the Domecoming event was announced, 25,000 passes were reserved by the general public. The sold-out event on April 9, the 53rd anniversary of the inaugural event at the Astrodome, was a success. Lines were wrapped around the Dome well in advance and hours after the event began. Guests took advantage of the opportunity to reminisce and enjoy a last look into the Astrodome before renovations begin later this year.

Elvin Betha

Hall of Famer Elvin Bethea standing nostalgically by his retired jersey. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Some former Oilers players and former Astros players enjoyed sentimental time back on the field. Fans arrived dressed in vintage (as well as current) Astros and Oilers gear.

The Domecoming celebration included an opportunity to hear about the renovations from Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and Astrodome Conservancy chair Phoebe Tudor.

“The Astrodome is an important landmark to Harris County and Texas and is part of our unique culture,” said Phoebe Tudor. “Our mission is to preserve its legacy and creatively engage Houstonians at the Astrodome once again.”  

Gonzo

Local artist Gonzo created art depicting the Astrodome for the occasion. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said, "The Astrodome Conservancy is going to help us ensure that the Astrodome is no longer just an unused county building housing only memories and equipment."

See below for photos from the Domecoming event. Share your Astrodome memories with us - join the conversation on our Facebook post or comment below.

  • Phoebe Tudor, Welcome Wilson, Sr., Welcome Wilson, Jr.

    Astrodome Conservancy chair Phoebe Tudor with Welcome Wilson Sr., also on the Astrodome Conservancy Board, and Welcome Wilson Jr. 
    (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Michael Lombardino, Maricela Arrendondo, Andrew Kogut

    (From left) Fans Michael Lombardino, Maricela Arrendondo, Andrew Kogut (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Joni Hoffman, Dante Pastorini

    SCORE! Buzz editor Joni Hoffman was thrilled to meet former Houston Oilers quarterback Dante Pastorini. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar)  

  • Carel Stith, Garland Boyette

    (From left) Former Houston Oilers players Carel Stith, defensive tackle and Garland Boyette, linebacker. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

     

  • Astrodome replica

    A replica of the Astrodome in 1965. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

     

  • Ericka Bagwell, Phoebe Tudor, Donae Chramosta

    (From left) Ericka Bagwell, Phoebe Tudor and Donae Chramosta. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Barbara Hauser, Pooja Lodhia

    Barbara Hauser, an original Spacette, wearing her uniform, being interviewed by KTRK reporter Pooja Lodhia. Barbara was at the Astrodome Opening Day 53 years ago. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Barbara Hauser, Harris Hauser

    Barbara Hauser, an original Spacette, reminiscing with her husband Harris. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Jerseys

    Houston Oilers retired jerseys: Hall of Famer Elvin Bethea, #65 and Dan Pastorini, #7. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

     

  • Elvin Bethea, Joni Hoffman, Harold Bailey

    (From left) Hall of Famer Elvin Bethea, Buzz editor Joni Hoffman and former Oilers player Harold Bailey. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Alan Guttman, Bruce Elfant

    Former Houston Astros bat boys and longtime fans Alan Guttman and Bruce Elfant. Bruce, Travis County Tax Assessor Collector and Voter Registrar, drove in from Austin to attend Domecoming. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Sylvia Cardenas, Ed Emmett, Joe Siff, Randy McKinney

    (From left) Sylvia Cardenas, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Joe Siff, Randy McKinney. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Dome

    Fans were all smiles inside the dome. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

     

  • Suzie Daum, Lawrence Finger, Steve Daum

    Suzie Daum (middle), with dad Lawrence Finger (on left) and husband Steve Daum (on right) were in line for hours but said it was worth the wait for sentimental reasons. Suzie's mom, Nancy Finger, was a huge sports fan and the family were season ticket holders for both the Astros and the Oilers. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Joni Hoffman, Carol Andrews

    Buzz editor Joni Hoffman with former Buzz photographer and friend Carol Andrews at Domecoming. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Lines

    Lines were wrapped around the building for hours before, during and after Domecoming. No one seemed to mind the wait. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

     

  • Joni Hoffman

    Buzz editor Joni Hoffman kicking back in the original Astrodome seats. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Crowd

    A look at the crowd inside the Domecoming event. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Selfie

    A couple takes a selfie with the dome in the background. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar)

  • Houston Astros World Series trophy

    Fans proudly admired the Houston Astros World Series trophy. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Joni Hoffman

    Buzz editor Joni Hoffman with the players' bench signed by Earl Campbell and Dante Pastorini in 1991. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

     

  • Astrodome seats

    Many felt nostalgia for those iconic Astrodome seats. These rows are the only ones left. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

     

  • Trophy

    A fan takes a selfie with the Commissioner's Trophy in the background. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

     

  • Mayor Sylvester Turner, Joni Hoffman

    Mayor Sylvester Turner all smiles with Buzz editor Joni Hoffman. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Ed Emmett, Joe Siff

    (From left) Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and Joe Siff. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Marybeth and Tom Flaherty

    Marybeth and Tom Flaherty (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Susan Zimmerman Rosen

    Susan Zimmerman Rosen in front of the Astrodome reminiscing about when she used to work at AstroWorld. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar)  

  • Suzie Daum, Joni Hoffman

    Suzie Daum and Joni Hoffman toasted with Dome Faux’m from 8th Wonder Brewery. They reminisced about the last time they were in the Dome together for the 1978 Houston Oilers pep rally(Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Lines

    Tickets for Domecoming were free, but sold out within two hours. Lines were wrapped around the building. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

     

  • Fans

    A look at the fans waiting for the Domecoming event. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

     

  • 1966 postcard

    A 1966 postcard displaying a crowd leaving the Astrodome. On the back, it reads: “A capacity crowd leaving Houston’s fabulous Astrodome. The world’s first domed Stadium. Hence the nickname, the 8th wonder of the world."

     

  • Phoebe Tudor, Welcome Wilson, Sr., Welcome Wilson, Jr.
  • Michael Lombardino, Maricela Arrendondo, Andrew Kogut
  • Joni Hoffman, Dante Pastorini
  • Carel Stith, Garland Boyette
  • Astrodome replica
  • Ericka Bagwell, Phoebe Tudor, Donae Chramosta
  • Barbara Hauser, Pooja Lodhia
  • Barbara Hauser, Harris Hauser
  • Jerseys
  • Elvin Bethea, Joni Hoffman, Harold Bailey
  • Alan Guttman, Bruce Elfant
  • Sylvia Cardenas, Ed Emmett, Joe Siff, Randy McKinney
  • Dome
  • Suzie Daum, Lawrence Finger, Steve Daum
  • Joni Hoffman, Carol Andrews
  • Lines
  • Joni Hoffman
  • Crowd
  • Selfie
  • Houston Astros World Series trophy
  • Joni Hoffman
  • Astrodome seats
  • Trophy
  • Mayor Sylvester Turner, Joni Hoffman
  • Ed Emmett, Joe Siff
  • Marybeth and Tom Flaherty
  • Susan Zimmerman Rosen
  • Suzie Daum, Joni Hoffman
  • Lines
  • Fans
  • 1966 postcard

More photos

Phoebe Tudor, Welcome Wilson, Sr., Welcome Wilson, Jr.

Astrodome Conservancy chair Phoebe Tudor with Welcome Wilson Sr., also on the Astrodome Conservancy Board, and Welcome Wilson Jr. 
(Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Michael Lombardino, Maricela Arrendondo, Andrew Kogut

(From left) Fans Michael Lombardino, Maricela Arrendondo, Andrew Kogut (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Joni Hoffman, Dante Pastorini

SCORE! Buzz editor Joni Hoffman was thrilled to meet former Houston Oilers quarterback Dante Pastorini. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar)  

Carel Stith, Garland Boyette

(From left) Former Houston Oilers players Carel Stith, defensive tackle and Garland Boyette, linebacker. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

 

Astrodome replica

A replica of the Astrodome in 1965. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

 

Ericka Bagwell, Phoebe Tudor, Donae Chramosta

(From left) Ericka Bagwell, Phoebe Tudor and Donae Chramosta. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Barbara Hauser, Pooja Lodhia

Barbara Hauser, an original Spacette, wearing her uniform, being interviewed by KTRK reporter Pooja Lodhia. Barbara was at the Astrodome Opening Day 53 years ago. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Barbara Hauser, Harris Hauser

Barbara Hauser, an original Spacette, reminiscing with her husband Harris. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Jerseys

Houston Oilers retired jerseys: Hall of Famer Elvin Bethea, #65 and Dan Pastorini, #7. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

 

Elvin Bethea, Joni Hoffman, Harold Bailey

(From left) Hall of Famer Elvin Bethea, Buzz editor Joni Hoffman and former Oilers player Harold Bailey. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Alan Guttman, Bruce Elfant

Former Houston Astros bat boys and longtime fans Alan Guttman and Bruce Elfant. Bruce, Travis County Tax Assessor Collector and Voter Registrar, drove in from Austin to attend Domecoming. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Sylvia Cardenas, Ed Emmett, Joe Siff, Randy McKinney

(From left) Sylvia Cardenas, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Joe Siff, Randy McKinney. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Dome

Fans were all smiles inside the dome. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

 

Suzie Daum, Lawrence Finger, Steve Daum

Suzie Daum (middle), with dad Lawrence Finger (on left) and husband Steve Daum (on right) were in line for hours but said it was worth the wait for sentimental reasons. Suzie's mom, Nancy Finger, was a huge sports fan and the family were season ticket holders for both the Astros and the Oilers. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Joni Hoffman, Carol Andrews

Buzz editor Joni Hoffman with former Buzz photographer and friend Carol Andrews at Domecoming. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Lines

Lines were wrapped around the building for hours before, during and after Domecoming. No one seemed to mind the wait. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

 

Joni Hoffman

Buzz editor Joni Hoffman kicking back in the original Astrodome seats. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Crowd

A look at the crowd inside the Domecoming event. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Selfie

A couple takes a selfie with the dome in the background. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar)

Houston Astros World Series trophy

Fans proudly admired the Houston Astros World Series trophy. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Joni Hoffman

Buzz editor Joni Hoffman with the players' bench signed by Earl Campbell and Dante Pastorini in 1991. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

 

Astrodome seats

Many felt nostalgia for those iconic Astrodome seats. These rows are the only ones left. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

 

Trophy

A fan takes a selfie with the Commissioner's Trophy in the background. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

 

Mayor Sylvester Turner, Joni Hoffman

Mayor Sylvester Turner all smiles with Buzz editor Joni Hoffman. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Ed Emmett, Joe Siff

(From left) Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and Joe Siff. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Marybeth and Tom Flaherty

Marybeth and Tom Flaherty (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Susan Zimmerman Rosen

Susan Zimmerman Rosen in front of the Astrodome reminiscing about when she used to work at AstroWorld. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar)  

Suzie Daum, Joni Hoffman

Suzie Daum and Joni Hoffman toasted with Dome Faux’m from 8th Wonder Brewery. They reminisced about the last time they were in the Dome together for the 1978 Houston Oilers pep rally(Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Lines

Tickets for Domecoming were free, but sold out within two hours. Lines were wrapped around the building. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

 

Fans

A look at the fans waiting for the Domecoming event. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

 

1966 postcard

A 1966 postcard displaying a crowd leaving the Astrodome. On the back, it reads: “A capacity crowd leaving Houston’s fabulous Astrodome. The world’s first domed Stadium. Hence the nickname, the 8th wonder of the world."

 

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