Friday, June 10, 2011

Build It, and They Will Come, As Long As It's Still Standing

June 10, 2011 (Montreal)--Dodgers baseball fans might lament what's happening to their team at present, what with the ownership fiasco and the odd bit of violence that accompanies a visit to their stadium, but spare a thought for their original fans from Brooklyn, who could do nothing but watch their team sail away in the early sixties. It is to their old stadium in Brooklyn that I now draw your attention: Ebbets Field. For our Stadium of the Day feature, take one look at the latinate facade and you see where designers of the latest round of retro parks took their inspiration. Enclosed on all four sides with double-decker stands reminiscent of Tiger Stadium (watch this space for more on that one) and the old time feel straight out of a Don De Lillo novel, Ebbets Field indisputably counts amongst the experts as one of the most important landmarks in stadium design throughout the history of sporting architecture... Seriously.

For today, just imagine yourself settling into one of the rickety old wooden seats under the trusses of ironwork and pre-war gantries, beer in  one hand and reaching out to catch a bag of peanuts with the other, then flicking your dime to the vendor as he grabs it with the knack of having done it a million times. That the Dodgers were to leave Brooklyn was one of the contemporary signs that the end of the world was coming at the time, yet here we are still, luckily alive to raise a toast to Ebbets and accept the fact that some things really do come to end: demolish it and they won't come.  Here is wikipedia's summation:
Ebbets Field was but one of several historic major league ballparks demolished in the 1960s, but more mythology and nostalgia surrounds the stadium and its demise than possibly any other defunct ballpark.

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