Idea For The Astrodome: Convert It Into Deep Space Nine

Houston Astrodome Deep Space Nine


Right now the folks in Houston are trying to figure out what to do with the Astrodome, which has been sitting vacant for several years. Many plans for the dome have fallen by the wayside, including this multi-use approach which I really like. I’m going to throw my esteemed hat into the ring and declare that the Astrodome be converted into Deep Space Nine.

That’s right: a mega Star Trek tourist destination in the very city where the Space Program resides. This resort would look and feel like the space station seen in the show.

This is made possible by building the central hub and encircling promenade in the middle of the field, with three bridges that connect to the existing concourse in the Astrodome. The dome’s circular shape is quite handy here!

Houston Astrodome Deep Space Nine

Thanks to the dome you can create a lot of celestial facades within, making it feel like you’re in deep space when you’re looking out of the windows of the station.

The resort would feature a hotel with lots of “housing quarters”, restaurants, bars, shops, and a casino (Quark’s bar and casino, naturally). In addition to the main bridge and promenade, other destinations would include “docked” spaceships like the Defiant. There is still plenty of real estate in the dome to include rides, a few space museums (of the non-fiction and science-fiction variety), Imax theaters, and so on.

Deep Space Nine would be a great year-round resort for Trekkies, and could possibly be the mecca for many Star Trek and comic conventions.

Right now it’s difficult to create a life-size Enterprise (we came close though), but this is completely do-able in my opinion. For now we’ll have to settle for the new Star Trek resort in Spain that is currently being built and is scheduled to open next year.

14 thoughts on “Idea For The Astrodome: Convert It Into Deep Space Nine

  1. Love it! I think this could be a mix of a theme park and shopping center. If you can incorporate TNG and Voyager too then all the better.

    1. As long as it’s a for profit real estate project and not a Harris county civic project, then funding would actually be the easy part. A real estate developer in a Joint Venture with a company like Disney and a private equity firm could lease the Dome from the city, and develop something like this. Such an arrangement has been done before on a smaller scale with the old Rice Hotel. The city leased the building to a developer who converted it to the Rice Lofts. Just follow the same pattern with the Dome.

  2. The building has a 30 foot deep pit that took weeks or months to dig out. I think we should fill it with water and make it an aquarium / and botanical gardens. Thirty feet is the perfect depth for scuba diving and marine life, the windows on the roof could be cleared since they were painted over many years ago. Maybe an indoor water-park could be part of the plan. Sharks in the water-park might add a little excitement to the whole experience. You could have a lazy river take you from the aquarium over and out to Reliant stadium.

    If that doesn’t work, why not take the asbestos out of the building, deconstruct the inside, and make it covered parking. This would be cheaper than tearing the structure down, it would save tax payer money as the the building will have to be deconstructed anyway if it is torn down. This would save the building and provide an amenity (covered parking) covered events etc. and would save the taxpayers the cost of complete demolition. This would be a win win and maybe it could be turned into an aquarium later. Probably wouldn’t even have to fill in the hole for parking since there is a giant ramp to get to the floor of the building.

    1. I like your idea too. It would look quite surreal to have that aquarium in a giant dome.

      I believe they are currently taking the asbestos out, according to recent reports.

  3. As long as it’s a private sector project I’m cool with this. This would be a great theme park that celebrates Star Trek (and NASA too).

  4. This is really cool. I’d love to go to Quark’s or get my suit tailored at Garak’s, maybe do some other shopping on the promenade. If it had a hotel I would make vacation plans for sure.

  5. Oh, man, somebody please make it so! I’d make regular visits and spend plenty of gold-pressed latinum.

    Many moons ago, “Star Trek: Federation Science” came to the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature, and I had a great time there playing around with the science-themed exhibits and getting a taste of Enterprise-D life with the show’s prop displays. Although I was in my mid-twenties, I felt like a kid again playing “Ensign Wilkinson”.

    My mother and father were with me, and I have no idea what they thought of the entire thing. Dad quite vociferously disliked SF in general, and Mom was fine with it, merely disinterested. Dad frequently would say “it’s all make-believe; none of this stuff exists”, which is kind of the point of having SF. When I’d say that his beloved westerns weren’t true depictions of history, his counter was “but it was real; we had these things”. It used to irk me, but I laugh about it now.

    As we entered the main hall, a fully-costumed Klingon from a Winnipeg fan group saw me with my camcorder taking in everything, and drew his disruptor pistol, taking aim at my noggin. I waited a beat and waved my free hand, saying “It’s not a weapon!”, to which the Klingon replied with mock-sinister gravitas, “You shoot me, I shoot you.” He then handed us programs and gave us directions to the Trek annex. I think I went on my merry way to the Enterprise, while my folks spent their time with the “real stuff” in the permanent exhibits.

    Though I came that day for Trek, the regular exhibits are also totally amazing, covering the Canadian Shield, Prairies, and Far North from pre-history to modern-day. There’s even a small North West Company sailing ship, from the days of Canada’s exploration and fur trade, that patrons can board.

    Sorry for digressing; it comes with my geekiness. The resort being built in Spain is great news, but we can’t just bream over there (yet), so a new North American centre would be very welcome. The waxing and waning of Star Trek fandom and its general cultural presence could be problematic for attendance and revenue (after all, they wrapped up the Vegas “Experience” some time ago), but your proposal allows for variety and change within and aside the Astrodome, outside of the space station structure, seasonal and “rotating” features inside DS9, NASA and science history and proposals, and plenty of regular, non-Trek offerings to palate-cleanse the brain after too many encounters with Cardassians and Dabo girls. Of course, it’ll need spacious convention facilities, not just for SF/fantasy but for professionals as well. It seems like just the kind of place for Houston to fete new companies with big ideas in architecture, sciences, medicine, energy, and the environment to plant roots in the area.

    Like any themed centre, it could come off as really cheesy, but with just a few keen eyes who know their Trek watching that side of the operation, groans and embarrassment would be kept to a minimum.

    TL;DR: I would love to walk the Promenade, test-fire the Defiant’s rotary phasers and quantum torpedoes, get a custom-fit mock Borg implant, have some Romulan ale at Quark’s, take a bat’leth sparring course, experience Red Alert, step back in time on the first Enterprise deck, design and create miniature ST ships or other small items via a “souvenir replicator” prototype machine, dine on gagh and other galactic cuisine, sleep with the rumble and hum of the ship at warp 3 and “stars” speeding past a viewport, and go where I’ve never gone before in a multi-species washroom before I kick the bucket. 🙂

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