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Wednesday, December 03, 2008
FrankenparkThe NYT's Ben Shpigel took a tour of Citi Field, and comes away pretty impressed. This passage is telling, though:
Before and during construction, Wilpon visited several of the newer ballparks around the majors because he wanted to see which elements to incorporate. He said PNC Park was his favorite and considered Citi Field a “super-sized Pittsburgh” (minus the stunning Roberto Clemente Bridge and skyline as a backdrop), though other ballparks came to mind more readily.
There's also a Tiger Stadium-style overhang in right field.
Look, I'm sure it's a nice park, but my inner architecture geek really wishes that at some point in the now 20-year ballpark building boom, someone would have had the guts to commission a design that was sui generis as opposed to all of these retro and retro-pastiche things we've received. Yes, on some level function dictates a lot of this sameness, but beyond the diamond, the grass, a scoreboard, and about 40,000 seats, one would think that there was more room for creativity than what we've seen. Quick: click through to the article and look at the picture. If you didn't already know that was Citi Field, would you have been able to pick it out of a lineup?
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 10:29am
It seemed that the Rays’ proposed new park was pretty novel architecturally:
Of course it may never happen.
Posted 12/03 at 11:40 AM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Rufus—very good point. It would be a very cool park. That said, I give it about a .01% chance of every happening. More likely: a retro-style brick job with “Rays Blue” seats.
Posted 12/03 at 11:45 AM
Mike McClary said...
No, I wouldn’t be able to ID the park as CitiField. The (rhetorical) question is: Why does the Mets’ new ballpark have a Tiger-Stadium-like overhang but the Tigers’ Comerica Park has nothing even close?
The best part of this post is that you managed to drop “sui generis” and “pastiche” in the same sentence.
Posted 12/03 at 12:55 PM
the idea of building a modern stadium is a good one, but not realistic mainly because trends come and go (and whats modern today is old fashioned tomorrow). shea, for instance, opened in ‘64 as some futuristic uber modern stadium. fast forward just ten years and it was already less chic than disco. compare that to the almost timelessness of camden and jacobs field, and you will understand why all the new ball parks still go for the retro look.
Posted 12/03 at 01:27 PM
Jimmy P said...
Why don’t people try something new? That’s what they did with New Comiskey Park. It worked out so well that they basically redid the park 10 years later.
Posted 12/03 at 01:31 PM
Brandon W. said...
I think the design for the St. Pete stadium looks cool, but how is it different from the plan for Stade Olympique in Montreal? That roof is also from a tower, and made of Kevlar fabric, but it doesn’t work in moderate winds, and the fabric apparently has torn several times. Does anyone know if HOK has come up with answers for these problems?
Posted 12/03 at 02:20 PM
sad part is the Nationals had $700m and an opportunity for a more modern style too fit into the neighborhood (since the neighborhood was all be constructed from scratch) and utterly failed. Nationals Park is probably one of the most generic Mallparks I have ever seen. i mean, it is nice, and the amenities are superb, but it is definitely a missed opportunity architecturally.
Posted 12/03 at 02:23 PM
Is sui generis lawyer speak for ‘take a risk with other folks money’? Maybe retro is getting overdone but much better to go a more conervative route than risky especially when taking such good care of the taxpayers monies used to fund the ballpark.
Posted 12/03 at 02:28 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Good point, Moose, and if anything, it’s another argument against public financing. If I was a gajillionaire, I’d hire some whacked out architect/genius to make me a ballpark that would have people rioting in the streets. Then, in 50 years, my grandkids would be able to say that ol’ Grandpa Craigy gave the town a landmark.
(unless it really sucked)
Posted 12/03 at 03:36 PM
Pete Toms said...
@ Brandon W. Ok, I’m not crazy! ( well, I am but I digress ) I thought from the 1st time I saw the drawings for that TB / Al Lang stadium that it was Big O redux. Glad to see I’m not the only one.
Posted 12/03 at 03:48 PM
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