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Designation may protect Astrodome from demolition

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HOUSTON (AP) - Efforts to protect the famed Houston Astrodome from demolition got a boost with another step toward the stadium being designated a "state antiquities landmark" in Texas.

The Astrodome seemed likely headed for the scrap heap after voters last year failed to approve a referendum that would have authorized up to $217 million in bonds to turn it into a giant convention and event center.

But an advisory committee of the Texas Historical Commission voted last month to recommend that the Astrodome get the antiquities designation. The commission was to make a final decision in July.

If the Astrodome is designated a state antiquities landmark, any proposals to alter or demolish it would have to be approved by the commission, making it more difficult to tear down the iconic structure.

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