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Texas Historical Commission gives Astrodome landmark status

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) The Texas Historical Commission has granted landmark status to the Houston Astrodome amid plans to redevelop the vacant stadium.

Commission members voted Friday to recognize the Astrodome as a Texas antiquities landmark and to provide legal protections.

The Astrodome opened in 1965 and has been vacant for 18 years, falling into disrepair. The enclosed stadium was declared unfit for occupancy in 2009. Voters in 2013 rejected a $217 million renovation package.

Harris County commissioners last year approved a $105 million redevelopment project that includes space for public and other commercial use, plus parking.

County Judge Ed Emmett expressed appreciation Friday for the landmark designation. He said officials will work closely with the Texas Historical Commission on future Astrodome plans.

The Astrodome in 2014 joined the National Register of Historic Places.