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Yankee Stadium [I] Renovation (1974 - 1975)

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  • #31

    I have to comment on the statement regarding the facade "turning to metal" since I don't know what that means, either. How does a specific material turn to metal? The fact that it quickly turned green offers a significant amount of evidence that the facade was indeed copper when it was installed, but then the question of why was it copper to begin with comes up.
    I obtained the majority of the original 1923 construction photos from the owner of the copyright (for a substantial amount of money, I might add) which shows the framework of the upper deck, roof and overhang including the framing of the facade. This leads me to believe that the facade was not installed as an individual item, but was built along with the roof as construction progressed. What these photos show is the frame work for the facade and the beginning of the first three sections beginning in left field with the bottom portions being that of the curviture of the bottom of the facade. Although the photos are black & white, it looks to be the same material that is used throughout the stadium. This makes perfect sense to me. However, there are no photos that I know of that show any construction of this area from this early phase until the facade is completed.
    As you know, close-ups of the finished product are so detailed that it seems it would be nearly impossible to construct this along with the roof, and that it would be more feasible to lift the finished section to the roof and bolt it on. But now consider this. A copy of a blueprint that I have shows one complete section with numerous dimensions and references demonstrating that it was constructed as the stadium progressed. Had the facade been built beforehand, then lifted and bolted on, there would be no need to detail the inside dimensions.
    All of this makes perfect sense to me, but can be easily disected with questions like why did it turn green? I don't know. Maybe it was coated with some sort of weather resistant substance that made it turn green. Did anyone think that since the seats were painted seafoam green that the facade would look good with that color also? Weren't they both the same shade of green?
    I have written letters to Tony Morante and have had to same response as you guys; none. I have written to the Stadium with the same results. I once wrote a letter to Osborn Engineering a few years ago to inquire about the blueprints and received a handwritten response from the president of the company within a week. He informed me that they had the blueprints for Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park and one or two others that were "just gathering dust" and gave them to Leylands to auction off some time ago. Yes, I screamed.


    • #32
      Not turned TO metal, "turned metal".


      • #33
        A small oversight resulting in huge ramifications. OK, you got me, but I can understand what "turning to metal" would constitute. How would you explain "turned metal?" The only form of turned metal that I know of is metal that had been turned on a lathe.


        • #34
          Originally posted by voodoochile
          A small oversight resulting in huge ramifications. OK, you got me, but I can understand what "turning to metal" would constitute. How would you explain "turned metal?" The only form of turned metal that I know of is metal that had been turned on a lathe.
          beats me, voodoo. I've heard the term before but am not exactly sure what it means. I think it's "phoney copper" or brass? Or maybe just a term for a cheaper metal that is "impersonating" what it appears to be.


          • #35
            Originally posted by Mike Wagner
            Does Anyone Know What Happened To Items From The Renovation Of 1973-1975 Such As:

            1. Dirt And Cement Debris From The Stadium

            2. I Know A Lot Of Chairs Were Sold. Does Anyody Know If Any
            Went To A Special Buyer, Institution, Etc.?

            3. Does Anyone Know Anyone Who Worked On This Project That I
            Can Interview For My Book? Besides The Usual Types Of Facts, I
            Want This Book To Be Personalized By Human Stories And I Will
            Put In "gee Whiz" Information That Other Books Don't Have. I
            Want My Book To Be Historically Accurate.

            Thank You.

            -mike Wagner
            I'm sure some of the seats went to the hall of fame. I can't believe they sold for $7.50. I wonder how much the seats from the current stadium will go for. I'd say a lot more than $7.50. Anyway, that's all I really know about that.


            • #36
              Whiteprints from the renovation

              Hey Mike - it is great to hear that you plan to do this book! I actually toyed with doing something like this ("The Building and Re-Building of Yankee Stadium") but never knew where to start. If you are ever looking for some non-gratis help or someone to bounce ideas off of, just let me know.

              Anyway, I have a couple of whiteprints from the renovation that show how they were able to remove the pillars and still keep the upper deck up. It was more than just cantilevering the upper deck. I also have images of other prints that were sold on ebay - we may be able to track some of full-size prints down. Let me know if you'd like to see them.
              Attached Files


              • #37
                Dear Sparky,
                I'd like to talk to you. Please give me an e-mail at [email protected] -Mike


                • #38

                  Some of the old seats from the original Yankee Stadium were sold to minor league clubs. Some of the old seats are at Salem Municipal Stadium in Salem, VA. It used to be the home of the Salem Pirates. Now the stadium is used for little league games and other leagues. I heard or read someplace that perhaps 1500 of the seats in this venue are from the old Yankee Stadium.


                  • #39
                    Kiwanis Field

                    Salem Municipal Stadium is now called Kiwanis Field. Here is a pic of the stadium.


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by icee82 View Post
                      Some of the old seats from the original Yankee Stadium were sold to minor league clubs. Some of the old seats are at Salem Municipal Stadium in Salem, VA. It used to be the home of the Salem Pirates. Now the stadium is used for little league games and other leagues. I heard or read someplace that perhaps 1500 of the seats in this venue are from the old Yankee Stadium.
                      For all you Polo Grounds fans out there, the St. Augustine City Amphitheater in Florida contains seats from the Polo Grounds. Complete with the Giants logo emblazened on the sides.


                      • #41
                        Hi everyone first post...

                        Great thread, made me want to join this site along with speaking to one of the posters in this thread.

                        Huge fan of the Stadium and fascinated by the 73-76 renovation and want to see every photo or article I can find on it. I had my dad take me there during the renovation I was so interested but of course could not get
                        inside. Thought the Yankeeography on the stadium renovation part of the feature was way too short.

                        I always tried to figure out why the upper deck portals were higher in this stadium than the old one, the pics gave me my answer.

                        The pics posted in this thread and discussion are fantastic. I have a few pics from yearbook " The making of the Stadium 1976 " but my scanner is not working right, I will try again this week and post if possible.

                        Some points/guesswork/questions.

                        * I have a little theory on the stadium dirt. Total guesswork and could be absolutely wrong but maybe some folks with inside knowledge can add something to this. A lot of the companies that built the World Trade Center and Battery Park City did all the major projects in that era and this is all the Rockefeller era who pushed for the renovation with Lindsay to keep the team from moving. Koch cranes were used at the World Trade Center and were used in the Yankee Stadium renovation because I have seen them in the WTC documentaries and in the credits for the 76 renovation.

                        A huge fill was created with dirt from the World Trade Center's bathtub that formed Battery Park City and it would not be surprising if the dirt from the Stadium renovation was used in this endeavor. The WTC was completed in 1974, Yankee Stadium was renovated between Oct 73-April 76. Thoughts?

                        * How were the monunments taken out and removed and where were they kept as the club played at Shea?

                        * If the black wall beyond centerfield were scrapped would the 463 feet sign be visible again, was the base of the bleachers torn down because it does not look that way. What was done with the old scoreboard, I remember seeing one pic with the very top and the yankee logo sitting alone in the outfield?

                        * When I worked in Manhattan in the 80's at the Lexington ave subway station (53rd street/3rd ave) on the esculator there were dozens of black and white photos on display of the stadium renovation as advertised as a museum on display, anyone know or remember anything about this?

                        * Anyone see the inside of the stadium during the renovation, all that was left was the shell in the upper deck and the portals were raised but were the walkways themselves kept in tact.

                        * From what I understand the frieze was something called turned metal (have no idea what that means) and worthless according to the Yankeeography on the stadium where Tony Morante speaks about it. Anyone know why it was not possible to incorporate it around the stands in the renovated version and just put the lights on top in towers.

                        * Too bad there is nothing showing the old clubhouse vs current clubhouse or even much on the 76 version of the park with the 430feet, 417 feet vs what it has been sized down to currently.

                        Look forward to talking with everyone.


                        • #42
                          the photo of the facade (with no scoreboard) from the outfield is from newsday for those interested.

                          I found a website (not sure if I'm allowed to advertise other sites so I will not) but it had a picture of the outside of the park and the parking lot under construction during the renovation.

                          thanks for the kind e-mail Mike, much appreciated.
                          Attached Files


                          • #43
                            Great Information Sources

                            I was able to glean quite a bit of information from The New York Times Archives on the New York Times web site, and

                            Besides renovation information, I first found the name "Yankees" for our heroes mentioned in the Sandusky (Ohio) Evening Star on Tuesday, April 26, 1904. People on othe web sites said the first mention of 'Yankees" was, I believe, in June 1904. That is not correct. In part, the paper states, "...the New York Americans variously dubbed Highlanders Yankees etc." This was in It's a wonderful site and very addicting for historians!!!

                            Also, I believe I know the origin of the name "Yankees." It's from The New York Times archives. In part, the April 15, 1906 article, "15,000 SEE YANKEES TAKE FIRST GAME," states, "By half past 3 the stands were crowded. There was a band of music to enliven things during the preliminaries, and as the various players arrived on the field the fans kept lively. A knot of a dozen had its own song to suit the occasion, and yelled it from a corner in the bleachers to the tune of "Yankee Doodle," in honor of their own Yankees of the Heights:

                            Yankee Griffith came to town
                            A ridin' on a bean can.
                            Collins furnished all the pork-
                            O joy! 'twas a cinch, man."

                            The Yankees were playing Boston. Who is to say the Highlanders, or Yankees, were unofficially called the "Yankees" by the fans thanks to their Yankee Doodle theme song, then it eventually stuck and became official? Just as Bill Skowron was known as "Moose". That's my theory. If I am wrong, please correct me.

                            -Mike Wagner


                            • #44
                              Yankee Stadium


                              I believe the white "Yankee Stadium" sign in front of Gate 4 (behind home plate), was first installed in 1956. I've tried to narrow this down by looking at film. I can only assume that at night, it used to light up in white. Since I have never seen any pictures of the old stadium at night.

                              When the Stadium received its facelift in the winter of 1966-67, the "Yankee Stadium" sign became blue. Again, looking at pictures this can be seen. Gone was the black background when the stadium was repainted. So again, I can only assume the sign would light up blue at night.

                              As for the smaller "Yankee Stadium" signs at Gates 2 & 6, they remained after the sign in front by Gate 4 was added in 1956. I think they were painted blue in the winter of 1966-67.

                              As for the facade attached to the roof, I've read the idea of adding it to the renovated Yankee Stadium came from Mike Burke. Mike was the President of the NY Yankees from (1966-1973), on behalf of CBS. But was told by engineers, that the new cantilevered stadium could not support the weight of the facade attached to the roof. So the modification was made.

                              Originally posted by spiderico View Post
                              Just saw this on ebay.


                              Looks like it's real, but the description is off. I saw a similar letter "S" a few months back. The measurements match up with the blueprints that are out there and if you look closely at pictures, it looks like the same lettering.

                              But in this guy's description, he's shows the front of the stadium in the later years, once the Longines clock went up over gate 4. This letter is probably either from gate 2 or gate 6.

                              Anyone with any info on the history of the Longines clock or the large "YANKEE STADIUM" lettering that went up in the 60's?

                              Also, please post any and all shots of the renovation. Good renovation shots are few and far between.



                              • #45
                                Yankee Stadium


                                I had some questions regarding the renovation of the stadium:

                                - During the renovation, was everything on all concourse levels knocked down. Examples are restrooms and concession & souvenir stands. I guess this way all plumbing and electric could be rewired. Since in the old stadium all the restrooms and concession stands were on the exterior side. Unlike the interior side in the renovated stadium.

                                - In the late '60s, the Yankees had their offices in the stadium. Were they located on the mezzanine level above gate 4? If so, would this be why there were windows on the exterior of the stadium?

                                - When the escalator towers were being installed in the renovation, what was removed from the original stadium? Were there more ramps or just windows?



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