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When Baseball Went Space-Age: The Houston Astrodome in Archival Photos

The Houston Astrodome will turn 50 next month, and its fate is still very much up in the air; the repurposing proposals keep rolling in, even while the orange upholstered seats of what was once deemed the "eighth wonder of the world" turn into collectors items. In celebration of the big five-oh, join us on a romp through the archives, from the very Texan groundbreaking ceremony to LBJ's appearance on opening night, with a brief glimpse at its flamboyant presidential suite.

↓ Different models of the Astrodome were used for planning for pedestrian circulation, structural testing, and introducing it to county officials.


↓ Promo images from over the years, depicting classy dining options, those now-collectible seats, the 1965 Astros lineup, "Highlights of Space-Age Baseball Indoors," and an ad for the now-shuttered AstroWorld theme park.


↓ On January 3, 1962, commissioners fired Colt .45s into the dirt at the groundbreaking ceremony.

↓ Images from the three-year construction show the dome's scaffolding taking shape.


↓ An exterior shot from sometime around the opening in 1965.

↓ A long-exposure image of the Astrodome lit up at night.

↓ A view of the field with original grass from the 1965 brochure.

↓ The journal Landscape featured a black-and-white image of the field at night in its Fall, 1976 issue.

↓ Astros owner Roy Hofheinz decorated his presidential suite with what the AP once described as a "a bizarre mixture of old, new and in-between," including a marble Joan of Arc and plenty of French reproduction furniture.

↓ Hofheinz's office, complete with ferocious-looking (dragon? dog?) statue.

↓ Lyndon B. Johnson visiting on opening night.

· The Houston Astrodome [Columbia]