Sports

A Preservation Home Run: Chicago's Wrigley Field

Posted on: August 20th, 2013 by David Robert Weible 4 Comments

 

Historic Wrigley Field. Astute Cubs fans can gauge the point in the Major League season by the growth of ivy on the field’s outfield walls. Credit: wallyg, Flickr.
Historic Wrigley Field. Astute Cubs fans can gauge the point in the Major League season by the growth of ivy on the field’s outfield walls.

Wrigley Field was originally built as Weeghman Park in 1914 for the Chicago Federals baseball team. In 1916, the Cubs moved in, and in 1926, it was renamed Wrigley Field after William Wrigley Jr., who bought out the shares of the team’s other owners before the 1920 season.

Since then, the ballpark -- now the second-oldest venue in the Majors after Boston’s Fenway Park -- has seen its share of history. Babe Ruth’s called shot in the 1936 World Series and Ernie Banks’ 500th career home run in 1970 both happened here. The stadium is also home to the Curse of the Billy Goat (it’s best just to Google it) and the Steve Bartman incident during the 2003 National League Championship Series. (One thing Wrigley Field has never seen is a World Series championship).

But beginning in 2009, preservationists and baseball fans alike began to worry if some of the ballpark’s historic fabric -- and perhaps some of the history that went along with it -- might be lost.
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The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. He came to DC from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

Houston Astrodome: Iconic Stadium Awaits "New Dome Experience"

Posted on: August 9th, 2013 by Aria Danaparamita

 

The Houston Astrodome. Credit: Ed Schipul, Flickr.
The Houston Astrodome: The world’s first dome stadium brought the future for professional sports to Houston, Texas.

The Houston Astrodome opened in 1965 with an exhibition game: Houston Astros versus New York Yankees. The crowd surely went wild. Houstonians claimed the ballpark the “eighth wonder of the world.”

And was it ever. The world’s first indoor domed stadium became the home of the Houston Astros (Major League Baseball), Houston Oilers (National Football League), and the world-famous Houston Rodeo.

Yet decades later, the seats are empty. No crowds. No sports. The Astrodome, named on our 2013 list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, faces potential demolition. But there’s new hope for one of the nation’s most spectacular ballparks.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita, or Mita, is a contributor to the PreservationNation blog and recent graduate of Wesleyan University. She enjoys walks, coffee, and short stories. Follow her odd adventures on Twitter at @mitatweets.

Oregon’s Civic Stadium: "We Don't Want to Hear Strike Three"

Posted on: August 8th, 2013 by Sarah Heffern 2 Comments

 

The last Eugene Emeralds opening day at Civic Stadium, in 2009. Photo courtesy Tom Clifton, Flickr.
The last Eugene Emeralds opening day at Civic Stadium in 2009.

It's one of only a dozen wooden ballparks still standing in the United States, and one of only five remaining built by the Works Progress Administration.

In its last season in use, it was the 9th oldest minor league ballpark in the country, and 3rd oldest west of the Rockies.

Eugene, Oregon's Civic Stadium has historic chops galore -- and yet, it sits unoccupied, slowly deteriorating. It is not, however, unloved or forgotten. The work of the Friends of Civic Stadium (FOCS) sees to that. The avid group of local preservationists have been working tirelessly to convince the stadium's owners, Eugene's School District 4J, to find a solution that will provide the historic stadium a new lease on life.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class.

 

Opening Day at Dodger Stadium, 2013. Credit: Steve Devol, Flickr
Opening Day at Dodger Stadium, 2013.

I didn’t grow up in a very sports-minded family, but I still remember the first time I stepped foot inside Dodger Stadium. I was six years old, and my aunt and uncle treated my cousins and me to a night at the ballpark. While I’m certain I paid more attention to my Dodger Dog and the rowdy fans than I did to the architecture (or even the game), I do remember a definite magic to the place.

When I returned to the stadium to catch a game earlier this year, now a full-fledged grown-up, my attention still wasn’t so much on the game as it was the setting. I’m pretty sure there’s no more beautiful place to watch America’s favorite pastime.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

A Threatened American Legacy at Hinchliffe Stadium

Posted on: July 11th, 2013 by Katherine Flynn

 

130711_blog_photo_hinchliffe1
Hinchliffe Stadium was built in 1932 and has been closed since 1997.

Brian LoPinto loves the story of how, when a journalist asked the Great Bambino what he thought of Negro Leagues player Josh Gibson being called the “black Babe Ruth,” Ruth replied, “I’m the white Josh Gibson.”

Gibson was just one of the legendary players to take the field at Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, N.J. as a member of the Pittsburgh Crawfords, playing Hinchliffe's home team the New York Black Yankees. Today, however, the great legacy of professional African-American athletes at Hinchliffe Stadium in America's Jim Crow era is threatened by crumbling walls, splashes of graffiti, and general disrepair.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an editorial assistant at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.