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Yankee Stadium [I] Renovation (1974 - 1975)

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  • Upper Deck

    I went to the Yankees v/s Tampa game yesterday and sat in the upper deck near home plate. I was in a tier box second row c. I was in the second row behind the guardrail that I believe was the original walkway in the upper deck seats. Amazing how the row in front of the guardrail is so much lower. Now I can see how the original walkway looked.

    Now here is a question I have. When walking to my seats in the current walkway, I noticed there is a slight dip in the walkway as I walked to my section. I looked around the upper deck and noticed that near each runway, the walkway seems to dip just a little. Does anyone know why?

    Thanks so much.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by YankeesFan View Post
      I noticed there is a slight dip in the walkway as I walked to my section. I looked around the upper deck and noticed that near each runway, the walkway seems to dip just a little. Does anyone know why?
      I noticed the same thing, but I see it a little differently... to me the walkway rises a little in front of each tunnel to the concourse.


      (Photo taken April 3, 2008. © Gary Dunaier)

      Take a look at the railing in front of the aisle between the boxes and reserved seats in the above photo, and however you choose to phrase it (walkway rises, walkway dips), you can see for yourself.
      X

      Comment


      • A gentleman who worked for Karl Koch Erecting Co. at the renovation told me the Koch Company added 10 more rows of seating at the top of the Stadium, which gave the Stadium an additional 77 feet in height.

        -Mike Wagner

        Comment


        • I don't know if anyone posted this, but someone posted a video of rbi baseball with the field shaped like yankee stadium:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqjE6Vmpsns
          The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Gary Dunaier View Post
            I noticed the same thing, but I see it a little differently... to me the walkway rises a little in front of each tunnel to the concourse.


            (Photo taken April 3, 2008. © Gary Dunaier)

            Take a look at the railing in front of the aisle between the boxes and reserved seats in the above photo, and however you choose to phrase it (walkway rises, walkway dips), you can see for yourself.

            This is just a theory, but I believe that maybe the railings were a little higher around the tunnel as a kind of margin of protection for when fan traffic would slow down and crowds easily accumulate . Notice how the span of the raised railings matches the width of the tunnel and the adjacent side aisles.

            Dennis
            BrooklynDodger14

            Comment


            • Someone posted the list of all the renovations before. I think on the other thread but I forgot what they were.

              I know:

              The upper 2/3rd of the upper deck is original

              The concourses are original

              what else?
              "I was pitching one day when my glasses clouded up on me. I took them off to polish them. When I looked up to the plate, I saw Jimmie Foxx. The sight of him terrified me so much that I haven't been able to wear glasses since." - Left Gomez

              "(Lou) Gehrig never learned that a ballplayer couldn't be good every day." - Hank Gowdy

              Comment


              • QUOTE=Myankee4life;1157657]Someone posted the list of all the renovations before. I think on the other thread but I forgot what they were.

                I know:

                The upper 2/3rd of the upper deck is original

                The concourses are original

                what else?[/QUOTE]

                This was a reply I posted on the thread "Old Yankee Stadium" (5/23/06) with illustrations courtesy of Kaplanski and his fantastic "3D Yankee Stadium" thread and site:

                Originally Posted by YankeesFan

                Hi,

                Not being old enough to have gone to the old Yankee Stadium, I have some questions regarding the differences between the old and current Yankee Stadium. I hope some memories can be shared.

                1- Is the current upper deck concourse level different from the one in the old stadium? In the old stadium it looks like the runways were much lower in the upper deck. If so, what happened to the old concourse?

                2- Did all concourse levels have concessions and restrooms?

                3- Above most runways, a red light is present. Where these lit all the time? If so, were they simply exit lights?

                4- Was there a runway in the old mezzanine section right behind home plate near the front rows?

                5- The current stadium has concrete walls with pillars between the concourse area and seating area in the main and loge sections. Was this done due to the pillars that reside inside the walls? I believe the old stadium had the seats going right up to the concourse areas.

                6- When were the old wooden box seats replaced with curved seats in the old stadium? My guess would be mid-50's.


                Any info would be greatly appreciated.

                Thank you.....

                OK! Here we go point by point...

                1. In the Upper Deck (now referred to on your tickets as the Tier Level) the concourse level in the old stadium and the portal entries that accessed the seating were in fact lower. If you look at any pictures of the old Stadium, that original concourse would be seen on the outside as the level of louvres immediately above the semi-circular ones that define the Stadium exterior.

                [

                The original Upper Deck concourse was as wide as the present concourse but had the added drama of an open vista where you could walk the catwalks leading to the Upper Deck seating and view both Mezzanine (now Loge) and Field level stands below. The view was vast and quite dramatic seeing thousands of faces watching the game below you.



                During the 1974-76 renovation that original concourse was closed off and an additional level was built above it. This in effect raised the access level of the portals to their present locations. The original portals were each closed off and the new ones were exactly alligned above them. The one reminder of their ever existing is the level of seats about 4 or 5 rows from the front of the Upper Deck that have a railing. This row defines the original cross-aisle that was the "old" portals level.

                The original Upper deck concouse can occasionally be glimpsed if you are lucky to see a door open when travelling the ramps between levels to the top. The massive sweep of the Upper Deck that forms the "ceiling" above the Loge level is all hollow and lit within and the original catwalks are intact. The area is now used as a utility storage area and also was the location where seat repairs and replacements were.

                2. Yes they did, but unlike the present day layout, the concessions, commissairies and restrooms were lined up against the exterior walls on all seating levels.

                3. Yes. I think they were required by Fire Dept. regulations to define where exits were located, though I seem to recall that in the last years of the old Stadium (from 1967-1973) that those lights were BLUE. Could anyone else please confirm?

                4. As a vendor I recall that there was used to be a cross-aisle that ran along the Mezzanine's outer sections but ended in a detour as you approached about where 1st and 3rd base would be. I don't remember there being a runway there though as all access from that level was from the Mezz concourse at the back. (2008 Edit: It turns out that the cross aisles were designed as part of the 1928 and 1930's LF and RF grandstand extentions).

                5. Yes that is correct. Removal of the obstructing pillars made necessary the addition of new box pillars located toward the rear of the Field and Mezz seating. These new pillars serve as the new "balancing point" on which the weight of the Upper Deck would rest. You see them from the Stadium's outside as the vertical columns or "ribs" that form the base of the Stadium's "crown."

                The additional rows extending outward from the original back row of the Upper Deck and the hydraulic cabling attaching them to the outer wall of the Stadium form the counterweight that makes possible the pillarless non-obstructed views while preserving the overhang of the Upper Deck above the Field level.

                6. Not quite sure what you mean here. There was always curved-back seats that made up the boxes, and then there were the long flat-backed and bottom "bench" style seats that made up the seating from the pillars and back.


                and a related reply posted on May 27, 2006 in the same thread:

                Originally Posted by Myankee4life

                If you had to give a percent of how much of the old stadium is left in the renovated one what would it be?

                I believe that is a question that has to be addressed in sections (Percentages are just guess-timates on my part):

                Exterior walls (Main Levels): 70% Retained (Loss of all original Gates 4 & 6, and top and bullpen side of Gate 2.)

                Exterior & Roof (Upper Level): 0% Retained (Completely lost due to 10-row extentions)

                Bleachers: 75% Retained (Loss of 2 sections nearest Old Stadium's visitors bullpen, and all of the original Bleacher walls except for the Old Yankee bullpen wall and a tiny portion along dead center. A few rows along the rear of the bleachers was sacrificed to be the foundation of the wraparound Scoreboard/Billboard assembly that is framed by the signature facade.

                Fleld Level Stands: 45-50% Retained (As indicated by Elvis in a related post, the original Field Level grandstands exist from the entire concourse extending down to around the edge of the Loge overhang. The front portion of the stands from that point down to the playing field was reconstructed and extended to a point 6 feet below the original 1923 playing field grade.

                Loge (aka Mezzanine) Stands: 50-60% Retained (Like the Field level, the seating in the rear of this level was removed to accomodate the new box girders for the reconfigured Upper Deck. The new girder sections on all levels provided the spaces for all the commissaries, restrooms, concession stands, and Luxury Boxes that used to be situated along the exterior side of the concourses. The other primary seating loss was focused in the area immediately behind homeplate as the Yankee Offices, the Press Level, and the primary Luxury Boxes were constructed.)

                Upper Level: 90% Retained (This would appear to be contradictory yet it would be true: With the exception of the loss of the Upper Level's exterior walls and roof as explained above, ALL of the original Upper Deck seating area is retained. (Note: by saying "original" here, I refer to the complete grandstand that is comprised of the 1923 construction as well as the 1928 LF extention and the 1930's RF extention).


                Any feedback and/or corrections are encouraged and welcomed. I am neither an architect nor engineer, but rather Yankee Stadium and its history became a personal focus and hobby of mine especially during my vendor years of 1971 thru 1983.

                Dennis
                BrooklynDodger14
                Last edited by brooklyndodger14; 04-08-2008, 08:19 AM.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by brooklyndodger14 View Post
                  This was a reply I posted on the thread "Old Yankee Stadium" (5/23/06):

                  Originally Posted by YankeesFan


                  The original Upper deck concouse can occasionally be glimpsed if you are lucky to see a door open when travelling the ramps between levels to the top.

                  Dennis
                  BrooklynDodger14
                  Man, if someone could get a picture of the old concourse this season, or at least tell me what ramp I can take to stalk this door, I would be forever grateful.

                  Comment


                  • Gates

                    Originally posted by brooklyndodger14 View Post
                    QUOTE=Myankee4life;1157657]Someone posted the list of all the renovations before. I think on the other thread but I forgot what they were.

                    I know:

                    The upper 2/3rd of the upper deck is original

                    The concourses are original

                    what else?
                    This was a reply I posted on the thread "Old Yankee Stadium" (5/23/06) with illustrations courtesy of Kaplanski and his fantastic "3D Yankee Stadium" thread and site:

                    Originally Posted by YankeesFan

                    Hi,

                    Not being old enough to have gone to the old Yankee Stadium, I have some questions regarding the differences between the old and current Yankee Stadium. I hope some memories can be shared.

                    1- Is the current upper deck concourse level different from the one in the old stadium? In the old stadium it looks like the runways were much lower in the upper deck. If so, what happened to the old concourse?

                    2- Did all concourse levels have concessions and restrooms?

                    3- Above most runways, a red light is present. Where these lit all the time? If so, were they simply exit lights?

                    4- Was there a runway in the old mezzanine section right behind home plate near the front rows?

                    5- The current stadium has concrete walls with pillars between the concourse area and seating area in the main and loge sections. Was this done due to the pillars that reside inside the walls? I believe the old stadium had the seats going right up to the concourse areas.

                    6- When were the old wooden box seats replaced with curved seats in the old stadium? My guess would be mid-50's.


                    Any info would be greatly appreciated.

                    Thank you.....

                    OK! Here we go point by point...

                    1. In the Upper Deck (now referred to on your tickets as the Tier Level) the concourse level in the old stadium and the portal entries that accessed the seating were in fact lower. If you look at any pictures of the old Stadium, that original concourse would be seen on the outside as the level of louvres immediately above the semi-circular ones that define the Stadium exterior.

                    [

                    The original Upper Deck concourse was as wide as the present concourse but had the added drama of an open vista where you could walk the catwalks leading to the Upper Deck seating and view both Mezzanine (now Loge) and Field level stands below. The view was vast and quite dramatic seeing thousands of faces watching the game below you.



                    During the 1974-76 renovation that original concourse was closed off and an additional level was built above it. This in effect raised the access level of the portals to their present locations. The original portals were each closed off and the new ones were exactly alligned above them. The one reminder of their ever existing is the level of seats about 4 or 5 rows from the front of the Upper Deck that have a railing. This row defines the original cross-aisle that was the "old" portals level.

                    The original Upper deck concouse can occasionally be glimpsed if you are lucky to see a door open when travelling the ramps between levels to the top. The massive sweep of the Upper Deck that forms the "ceiling" above the Loge level is all hollow and lit within and the original catwalks are intact. The area is now used as a utility storage area and also was the location where seat repairs and replacements were.

                    2. Yes they did, but unlike the present day layout, the concessions, commissairies and restrooms were lined up against the exterior walls on all seating levels.

                    3. Yes. I think they were required by Fire Dept. regulations to define where exits were located, though I seem to recall that in the last years of the old Stadium (from 1967-1973) that those lights were BLUE. Could anyone else please confirm?

                    4. As a vendor I recall that there was used to be a cross-aisle that ran along the Mezzanine's outer sections but ended in a detour as you approached about where 1st and 3rd base would be. I don't remember there being a runway there though as all access from that level was from the Mezz concourse at the back. (2008 Edit: It turns out that the cross aisles were designed as part of the 1928 and 1930's LF and RF grandstand extentions).

                    5. Yes that is correct. Removal of the obstructing pillars made necessary the addition of new box pillars located toward the rear of the Field and Mezz seating. These new pillars serve as the new "balancing point" on which the weight of the Upper Deck would rest. You see them from the Stadium's outside as the vertical columns or "ribs" that form the base of the Stadium's "crown."

                    The additional rows extending outward from the original back row of the Upper Deck and the hydraulic cabling attaching them to the outer wall of the Stadium form the counterweight that makes possible the pillarless non-obstructed views while preserving the overhang of the Upper Deck above the Field level.

                    6. Not quite sure what you mean here. There was always curved-back seats that made up the boxes, and then there were the long flat-backed and bottom "bench" style seats that made up the seating from the pillars and back.


                    and a related reply posted on May 27, 2006 in the same thread:

                    Originally Posted by Myankee4life

                    If you had to give a percent of how much of the old stadium is left in the renovated one what would it be?

                    I believe that is a question that has to be addressed in sections (Percentages are just guess-timates on my part):

                    Exterior walls (Main Levels): 70% Retained (Loss of all original Gates 4 & 6, and top and bullpen side of Gate 2.)

                    Exterior & Roof (Upper Level): 0% Retained (Completely lost due to 10-row extentions)

                    Bleachers: 75% Retained (Loss of 2 sections nearest Old Stadium's visitors bullpen, and all of the original Bleacher walls except for the Old Yankee bullpen wall and a tiny portion along dead center. A few rows along the rear of the bleachers was sacrificed to be the foundation of the wraparound Scoreboard/Billboard assembly that is framed by the signature facade.

                    Fleld Level Stands: 45-50% Retained (As indicated by Elvis in a related post, the original Field Level grandstands exist from the entire concourse extending down to around the edge of the Loge overhang. The front portion of the stands from that point down to the playing field was reconstructed and extended to a point 6 feet below the original 1923 playing field grade.

                    Loge (aka Mezzanine) Stands: 50-60% Retained (Like the Field level, the seating in the rear of this level was removed to accomodate the new box girders for the reconfigured Upper Deck. The new girder sections on all levels provided the spaces for all the commissaries, restrooms, concession stands, and Luxury Boxes that used to be situated along the exterior side of the concourses. The other primary seating loss was focused in the area immediately behind homeplate as the Yankee Offices, the Press Level, and the primary Luxury Boxes were constructed.)

                    Upper Level: 90% Retained (This would appear to be contradictory yet it would be true: With the exception of the loss of the Upper Level's exterior walls and roof as explained above, ALL of the original Upper Deck seating area is retained. (Note: by saying "original" here, I refer to the complete grandstand that is comprised of the 1923 construction as well as the 1928 LF extention and the 1930's RF extention).


                    Any feedback and/or corrections are encouraged and welcomed. I am neither an architect nor engineer, but rather Yankee Stadium and its history became a personal focus and hobby of mine especially during my vendor years of 1971 thru 1983.

                    Dennis
                    BrooklynDodger14[/QUOTE]

                    Hey, I remember that post!

                    Adding to all of that, I have thought of another question. I'll try to explain it the best I can.

                    In the current stadium, picture looking up at the escalator towers at Gate 4 (behind home plate) and Gate 6 (Right Field). Of course the original stadium did not have escalators. So you had the original exterior with windows and eventually the clock starting in I think 1956 at Gate 4. The exterior was decorated with windows.

                    My question is, what was behind these windows before the renovation? Could it have been more ramps to access different levels? Or was it simply a continuation of the concourse ramps to walk around the stadium? May it have been Yankee offices?

                    Thanks so much....

                    Comment


                    • I am assuming that when they made this new upper concourse, that they constructed new ramps to get up to it. Why did they do this anyway? Was something wrong or inadequate in regards to the old concourse?
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by stlfan View Post
                        I am assuming that when they made this new upper concourse, that they constructed new ramps to get up to it. Why did they do this anyway? Was something wrong or inadequate in regards to the old concourse?
                        By placing the new concourse at mid-level to the renovated Upper Deck, it spared fans sitting in the upppermost seats the anxiety of having to travel the entire length of the deck to get to their seats.

                        The effect of going DOWN the aisle can be vertigo-inducing as well to those afraid of heights, especially when the tunnels/portals are at the bottom of the stand.

                        This was the main complaint of the upper deck at Comiskey Park II (US Cellular Field) during the first few years. The solution was to shorten the back of the upper deck by a few rows which they did among their many recent renovations.

                        Dennis
                        BrooklynDodger14

                        Comment


                        • Exterior walls

                          Post #189 said "Exterior walls (Main Levels): 70% Retained (Loss of all original Gates 4 & 6, and top and bullpen side of Gate 2.)".

                          Surely the original limestone exterior walls (which were looking very cracked and damaged before they were painted white circa 1968) must have been replaced in the 73-75 renovation. Can anyone confirm this?

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Frank Wagner View Post
                            Post #189 said "Exterior walls (Main Levels): 70% Retained (Loss of all original Gates 4 & 6, and top and bullpen side of Gate 2.)".

                            Surely the original limestone exterior walls (which were looking very cracked and damaged before they were painted white circa 1968) must have been replaced in the 73-75 renovation. Can anyone confirm this?
                            No, they are the original exterior walls but I believe they put some concrete spray over it (and filled in any cracks), and they painted them the grey color they are now. Post #83 has a great picture showing the original walls in the current stadium.
                            ..."I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for."

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Frank Wagner View Post
                              Post #189 said "Exterior walls (Main Levels): 70% Retained (Loss of all original Gates 4 & 6, and top and bullpen side of Gate 2.)".

                              Surely the original limestone exterior walls (which were looking very cracked and damaged before they were painted white circa 1968) must have been replaced in the 73-75 renovation. Can anyone confirm this?
                              Just goes to show ya that you can't believe everything (anything?) that Lonn Trost says.

                              The walls you see today when you look at the Stadium are the original walls, and they were--and still are--made of concrete, not limestone.

                              Comment


                              • July 10, 1971. See yankeenumbers.com and retrosheet to confirm.

                                Comment

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