Fate uncertain, Astrodome sits in disrepair

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Houston Astrodome Towers Demolished In Seconds

Demolition began on parts of the Houston Astrodome this week, and though its fate has not officially been decided, the rest of the structure could be razed. Voters rejected a referendum in November that would have turned the dilapidated stadium into a center for conventions and events. There's no alternative plan for the former home of the Astros and Oilers, though there are several options, the Associated Press reported in November.

On Sunday, three pedestrian ramps were demolished. The ramps were added to the stadium in the 1980s in a bid to improve conditions and keep the NFL's Oilers in Houston, according to the Associated Press. The Oilers moved to Nashville in 1997 anyway.

The first indoor baseball park, the Astrodome opened in 1965, at the height of the Space Age. It was considered an architectural marvel and was nicknamed the Eighth Wonder of the World.

The Astrodome has sat mostly empty since 1999, falling into disrepair amid debate over whether to raze it, restore it or simply allow it to sit. In 2005, it housed thousands of Hurricane Katrina evacuees for about 10 days, many of whom were transported from New Orleans.

Astrodome in its final days
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Fate uncertain, Astrodome sits in disrepair

Dust flies at the #Astrodome. http://t.co/JraO70EyHa

A construction worker walks across a bridge being dismantled at the Astrodome in November. Voters rejected what some officials had touted as the only way to save the prized dome from demolition.
Bright orange seats and an old batting cage litter the floor of the Astrodome as workmen clean out the world's first domed stadium in November.
People line up to buy stadium seats at a sale and auction of Houston Astrodome furniture, appliances, Astroturf and staff uniforms in November.
A sale and auction of Houston Astrodome furniture, appliances, Astroturf and staff uniforms was held in November. Here, space helmets worn by the grounds crew in the early years of the Houston Astrodome are lined up in front of drawings of former Houston Astros players.
The Astrodome sits gathering dust in May 2012.
Rows of dirty, tattered seats ring the Astrodome in May 2012.
Houston Oilers and Astros signs hang in the Astrodome in May 2012.
A sign directs officials and volunteers to the Hurricane Katrina evacuee staging area at the Astrodome in August 2005. Thousands of New Orleans residents were transported to the Astrodome for shelter. 
Volunteers unload blankets on the floor of Houston's Astrodome in September 2005 in anticipation of the arrival of thousands of evacuees from New Orleans who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Houston's Astrodome is filled with New Orleans evacuees seeking refuge after Hurricane Katrina.
Refugees line up in front of computers looking for word of loved ones separated in the chaos of Hurricane Katrina.
A nurse administers a tetanus shot to a Hurricana Katrina evacuee.
Former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Joe Horn talks to a family displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Shanika Brown plays with her daughter, Jakira, and cousin Jashawn Lambert while on a cot. The New Orleans residents were evacuated to the Astrodome.
The floor of the Houston Astrodome begins to empty as Hurricane Katrina refugees pack their belongings to move to Reliant Arena.
An American Red Cross volunteer cleans up as Hurricane Katrina refugees pack their belongings.
Louis Flewellen of east New Orleans poses with a t-shirt at the Reliant Arena after spending several days at the Astrodome next door.
A New Orleans resident Danielle West waits with her 7-month-old daughter for a ride after seeking refuge at the Astrodome for a week. West and her daughter were headed to the airport to catch a flight to their new home in Jamaica, in the Queens borough of New York.
A grounds crew worker at the Astrodome removes bases after the final MLB game was played at the indoor stadium in 1999.
Houston Astros pitcher Jose Lima shakes hands with former Astros pitcher Mike Scott and manager Larry Dierker at the Astrodome in 1999.
Unable to secure financing for a new stadium, Oilers owner Bud Adams announced after the 1995 season that the team would move to Nashville.
A Houston Oilers fan sits above a farewell sign as he waits for the start of the last game the Oilers played at the Astrodome in 1996. Oilers owner Bud Adams moved the team to Nashville before the 1997 season. (AP Photo/Donna Bagby)
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