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  • Originally posted by Yankee1965 View Post
    As someone who had the good fortune to see games pre and post renovation, I can say that as much as the stadium changed, it largely remained the same. Sure, there were major visual differences, structural modifications to remove the columns and accommodate the extended upper deck. But much of the original charm and shape remained. My uncle had a similar reaction (as a fan) as Yogi Berra did when the stadium reopened for business in 1976. But after the first season that largely evaporated.

    As for the actual field being different; well, that's kinda silly to make that point. The actual field probably changed a dozen times over the years for drainage upgrades, new sod, etc. In fact, the entire field was renovated around 2000 or so with drainage upgrades. before that renovation, you couldn't barely see the opposite dugout from the other side at field level due to the crown pitch of the playing field (for drainage). After that renovation and drainage upgrades the playing field flattened out significantly. So one could argue that this isn't the same field Don Mattingly played on.

    The point is, Yankee stadium wasn't the same building that opened in 1923 as the one that opened for the 1928 season (when the left field grandstand wing was added). The same is said for the right field extension in 1937. And at the same time the entire bleacher section was replaced. So, the ballpark in 1937 wasn't the same field Babe Ruth opened in 1923. I'd argue that the changes in this time frame are equally significant to the renovations in 1974-75. The important thing here is that the actual confines are the same, and grandstand as it stands today is still the same. A fan in 2008 could sit in the grandstand and imagine that Babe Ruth played within these confines. As did Gehrig, Dimaggio, Berra, Rizzuto, Mantle, Ford, Munson, Pinella, Guidry, Gossage, Jackson, Mattingly, O'Neill, Jeter, Rivera. That can't be done anymore.

    More to the point, these confines once called Yankee Stadium saw more baseball history than any other sports venue ever have or ever will.

    Just my two cents on the topic.

    By the way, does anyone have access to a high quality overhead photo of the renovated stadium. I have plenty of pre-renovated overhead shots. I'd like to have one of the stadium in its final configuration. I rotate various photos of aerial shots for my wallpaper.

    Thanks
    That's where opinions and passions differ.

    The modifications made to OYS prior to the renovation, were more of the "addition" variety or changes that did not alter the overall look of the stadium. The 1970's renovation , in my (and many other's) view, transformed and altered the stadium enough that rendered historical portions of the stadium unrecognizable from the original.

    Aesthetically and historically, ripping Gate 4 away - so significant to Yankee Stadium's identity- and replacing it with that hideous spiral escalator, could be likened to replacing the Statue of Liberty's face with a sculpture of Jocelyn Wildenstein and the torch with a humongous, oversized basketball or disco ball."

    Yes, the Statue of Liberty will be the same "building" the same footprint and 3/5 of it will be the same as the original. And if you stand in Lady Liberty (or Jocelyn's) crown, you can see the same harbor and many of the same buildings that Babe Ruth and his daughter saw when they visited it in 1926.

    What structure was and is more identifiable in all of sports than the NY Yankee Stadium frieze? Where's the outcry from the "purists" that this historical, legendary, ornate frieze was sinfully removed and replaced with lights; that the roof that covered a good portion of the upper deck, to where the historical frieze was attached, was no longer? This was as sacrilege as plaster-boarding the entire 360 degree circumference of Roman Colosseum to make it whole again, and then covering the entire edifice, including the arches, with aluminum siding.

    Speaking of the Roman Colosseum, to which the original was likened, the mindless, clueless, tasteless 70's architects and designers, ripped the entire upper portion off of the original stadium and replaced it with exposed upper deck steps and a cheap, spidery-looking concrete design that cross-sects the back of the stairs. HIDEOUS. Hey, why not do likewise to the Roman Colosseum. Maybe put a dome or a retractable roof on it too. I mean it'll still be the Roman Colosseum, no?

    As for the field, I think that drainage and sod upgrades are different than ripping the whole field apart and digging deep into the soil as they did during the renovations. I read that the field of the renovated version stood in the basement of the original. That's how deep they supposedly dug. I suspect that the rats from the original stadium where the ones that stood in the general area of the new, renovated field, not Ruth, Gehrig, Joe D and The Mick. That's like if someone tore apart the house that I grew up in and the kitchen, which was once on the first floor is now in the basement. Would it be valid if somebody told me that's where my mother once cooked?

    I can go on and on about the travesty of the 70's renovations, but I won't convince anyone as they won't convince me otherwise. Some already agree with me, some don't. It's just the way it is.
    Last edited by Rob R; 12-07-2009, 02:03 AM.

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    • Originally posted by Rob R View Post
      That's where opinions and passions differ.

      The modifications made to OYS prior to the renovation, were more of the "addition" variety or changes that did not alter the overall look of the stadium. The 1970's renovation , in my (and many other's) view, transformed and altered the stadium enough that rendered historical portions of the stadium unrecognizable from the original.

      Aesthetically and historically, ripping Gate 4 away - so significant to Yankee Stadium's identity- and replacing it with that hideous spiral escalator, could be likened to replacing the Statue of Liberty's torch with a humongous, oversized basketball or disco ball.

      What can be more identifiable in all of sports than the NY Yankee Stadium frieze? Where's the outcry from the "purists" that this historical, legendary, ornate frieze was sinfully removed and replaced with lights; That the roof that covered a good portion of the upper deck, to where the historical frieze was attached, was no longer? This was as sacrilege as plaster-boarding the circumference of Roman Colosseum to make it whole and then covering the entire edifice, including the arches with aluminum siding.

      Speaking of the Roman Colosseum, to which the original was likened, the mindless, clueless, tasteless 70's architects and designers, ripped the entire upper portion off of the original stadium and replaced it with exposed upper deck steps and a cheap, spidery-looking concrete design that cross-sects the back of the stairs. HIDEOUS. Hey, why not do likewise to the Roman Colosseum. Maybe put a dome or a retractable roof on it too. I mean it'll still be the Roman Colosseum, no?

      As for the field, I think that drainage and sod upgrades are different than ripping the whole field apart and digging deep into the soil. I read that the field of the renovated version stood in the basement of the original. That's hoe deep they supposedly dug. That's like if someone tore apart the house that I grew up in and the kitchen, which was once on the first floor is now in the basement. Would it be valid if somebody told me that's where my mother once cooked?

      I can go on and on about the travesty of the 70's renovations, but I won't convince anyone as they won't convince me otherwise. Some already agree with me, some don't. It's just the way it is.
      Rob two points I don't think you can refute:

      1. It was clearly - very clearly - Yankee Stadium, the house that ruth built etc. even with hideous renovations of the 70s. No one could say it wasn't the building, the site of history, the exact footprint...

      2. It could have been saved and used for generations to come - rather than building a new $1.5 billion building.

      Let's face it - that was done only for two reasons: corporate profits and a quasi-corrupt "partnership" with the government that owns the land and infrastructure.
      Cleon Jones catches a deep fly ball in F. Scott Fitzgerald's Valley of the Ashes, and a second-grader smiles in front of the black and white television.

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      • Originally posted by Strawman View Post
        Rob two points I don't think you can refute:

        1. It was clearly - very clearly - Yankee Stadium, the house that ruth built etc. even with hideous renovations of the 70s. No one could say it wasn't the building, the site of history, the exact footprint...

        2. It could have been saved and used for generations to come - rather than building a new $1.5 billion building.

        Let's face it - that was done only for two reasons: corporate profits and a quasi-corrupt "partnership" with the government that owns the land and infrastructure.
        I certainly agree with #1. There's no doubt it's the same building and footprint. As far as the same field that Ruth et al stood on, like I said in my post, it's more likely that the rats and gophers from the original stadium stood in general area of the new field and not the legends. But yes, it's undeniably the same building that they ruined.

        Regarding your #2 comment, I agree as well...to an extent. My first choice would have been to "restore" this hideous bastardized version to the original, replete with a frieze surrounding the stadium and gates that look like gates.

        But, who knows what would have resulted had they renovated the stadium again? Maybe it would have been more structural, and they would have continued upon or slightly modified the 1970's renovated theme. Given that choice, I much prefer NYS.

        I'm not as "pro" NYS (as some think) than I am "con" RYS and I'm not even old enough to have attended the original stadium. But I don't think one necessarily needed to be at OYS to recognize good taste, and RYS certainly doesn't fit in that category. What they did to the original was not only extremely hideous and tacky, but criminal.
        Last edited by Rob R; 12-06-2009, 04:50 PM.

        Comment


        • "As for the field, I think that drainage and sod upgrades are different than ripping the whole field apart and digging deep into the soil as they did during the renovations. I read that the field of the renovated version stood in the basement of the original. That's how deep they supposedly dug. I suspect that the rats from the original stadium where the ones that stood in the general area of the new, renovated field, not Ruth, Gehrig, Joe D and The Mick. That's like if someone tore apart the house that I grew up in and the kitchen, which was once on the first floor is now in the basement. Would it be valid if somebody told me that's where my mother once cooked? "


          Rob R.,
          Actually, the playing field from the pre-renovation stadium was below grade; and in fact at the "basement level" as it were. I'll do some reasearch, but I really don't think the playing field was lowered all that much. Some folks cite the height of the outfield walls as evidence. The right and left field porches were actually chopped back several rows to deepen the corner dimensions to 314 and 318 feet respectively (final dimensions). So, perhaps the playing field may have wound up lower. I'll try to confirm that. But the original playing field was indeed below grade, at the "basement" level.

          Just to clarify....

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          • Originally posted by Strawman View Post
            Rob two points I don't think you can refute:

            1. It was clearly - very clearly - Yankee Stadium, the house that ruth built etc. even with hideous renovations of the 70s. No one could say it wasn't the building, the site of history, the exact footprint...

            2. It could have been saved and used for generations to come - rather than building a new $1.5 billion building.

            Let's face it - that was done only for two reasons: corporate profits and a quasi-corrupt "partnership" with the government that owns the land and infrastructure.
            Fan sentiment aside, isn't baseball a business in which owners run in order to turn a profit? Wasn't that one of the main factors why Yankee Stadium was built in 1923? The opportunity for a new venue is something most professional sports franchises explore eventually.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by TJH1923 View Post
              Fan sentiment aside, isn't baseball a business in which owners run in order to turn a profit? Wasn't that one of the main factors why Yankee Stadium was built in 1923? The opportunity for a new venue is something most professional sports franchises explore eventually.
              The Yankees arent most professional sports franchises....as arent the Red Sox who dont have much complaints about the cramped piece of history they play in. The Yankees could have renovated RYS piecemeal over the next 3-5 years.

              The seats could have been ripped out and replaced with those comfy ones, they could have constructed a 'moat' if they wanted, the loge level could have been converted into those coveted luxury suites. They could have ripped out everything behind the outfield ie. bleachers, bullpens, that entire back wall section. Replaced with a new structure composed of 2 or 3 levels of seating...with a spot for a 140' HDTV.

              The possibilities were endless but they screwed it all up.
              www.demolitionofyankeestadium.com

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              • Originally posted by Gary Dunaier View Post
                I was under the impression 157th Street was a "real" street until the renovation, when it was transformed into a pedestrian plaza. In fact, if you check out this 1955 image...



                ...you'll see that another street, whose name I surprisingly don't know, bisects the property between River Avenue and 153rd Street that is the present site of the parking garage.

                And I believe Ruppert Place was also a "real" street for most of Renovated Yankee Stadium's existance - it wasn't until sometime in the 1990s or 2000s that it became a restricted access roadway.
                Thats an awesome picture. You should post that on the NY Giants board in the Teams of Yesteryear section since you can see the Polo Grounds right over the river.

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                • Originally posted by CHiller View Post
                  This looks like a survey made prior to when the concrete bleachers replaced the original wooden ones. Look how narrow the bleachers in right center are in the drawing. I don't think they were actually that narrow. Did the top of the original bleachers overhang the property line, and cantilever over River Ave?
                  This is a copy of a blueprint from 1923 when the property lines were established, and this is what the stadium was built on. You could say that the bleachers in right center are somewhat narrow, but left field, and especially the right field bleachers more than make up for it, and no, they did not overhang. The distance to the wall from homeplate of 485' to center and 500' the left center had a lot to do with those bleachers.

                  I also believe that it's a no-brainer to even consider extending anything, property lines or not since 161st isn't going anywhere, and neither is the train tracks that run above River Ave., the very same tracks that have been there since pre-Yankee Stadium. It may not appear as such, but OYS takes up two-thirds of what NYS does, so it would've been impossible to build it at the old site.

                  I was also asked to compare this blueprint from 1923 to the NYS, but I cannot locate one from this stadium.
                  Attached Files

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                  • Originally posted by RichardLillard1 View Post
                    Also, this properly sized version of the comparison was posted a while back, I forget who did it though (but thank you!).

                    I'm honestly surprised that through all of this, Steiner has not pulled the original tera cotta pieces off the balconies. Not to mention the small square decorations that went around the entire ballpark. These were all covered by a thin layer of concrete during the renovation, but are still parts of the original structure and personally something I would love to have.

                    Or at least see it go to a better home than ground up as landfill.


                    Richard

                    Richard, I would chew the back of someone's head off to get my hands on at least one of those tiles.
                    Also, in a few of the pictures of the demo of Monument Park I noticed that the three small trees were left, and I'm wondering if they were trashed with the rest of it. Talk about a one of a kind item. If I had one of those in my backyard I'd hire a professional to take care of it.

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                    • Originally posted by voodoochile View Post
                      Richard, I would chew the back of someone's head off to get my hands on at least one of those tiles.
                      Also, in a few of the pictures of the demo of Monument Park I noticed that the three small trees were left, and I'm wondering if they were trashed with the rest of it. Talk about a one of a kind item. If I had one of those in my backyard I'd hire a professional to take care of it.
                      me too...one of the terra cota pieces from the other gates went for between 13-15,000 in an auction 2 years ago. would be a great piece to own
                      sigpic

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                      • Originally posted by TJH1923 View Post
                        Fan sentiment aside, isn't baseball a business in which owners run in order to turn a profit? Wasn't that one of the main factors why Yankee Stadium was built in 1923? The opportunity for a new venue is something most professional sports franchises explore eventually.
                        I completely agree with this, and also the following post by Joe who said that the Yankees aren't just another team. That comment goes hand in hand with Yankee Stadium. It wasn't all that long ago that a three game series at Yankee Stadium would put enough pessimism into a team that it was good for at least one loss.
                        But it wasn't just the stadium that that gave the Yankees an edge, it was also the fans who generated it, and to think that they're just there for the ride is a huge mistake. Not at any time in my life have I known any professional sports franchise ask the fans what they would like. The least they could do is lie to us and say what they did was the #1 choice among the fans, but they won't even do that. Lie to me, George, lie to me!!

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                        • Originally posted by Mattingly85MVP View Post
                          me too...one of the terra cota pieces from the other gates went for between 13-15,000 in an auction 2 years ago. would be a great piece to own
                          Man, if I was walking by the stadium and one of the workers threw a piece of concrete at me, I'd take it home and put it in a glass case.

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                          • My feeling is that if Steiner doesn't save the terra cotta pieces - whether they sell them or give them away - that they don't care a lick about historical artifacts the way they should. Such rare items should not end up in the trash heap!!! Once they're gone, they're gone forever.

                            Museums and private collectors would love to have them. Sadly, things revolve around the almighty $$$$$. However, some things are more sacred than money, and should be respected as such. These terra cotta pieces are excellent examples of this.

                            The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown should be sent some significant pieces of Yankee Stadium. Baseball's most historic ballpark deserves to have some of these artifacts housed where baseball and architectural fans can view them. A LANDFILL IS THE WRONG ANSWER!!!!!!!!!!!

                            -Mike Wagner

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                            • What ever happened to the old days when a mob would gather with torches and a bucket of tar and a wagon of feathers? No good, huh? OK, how about a half dozen horses and some rope, or just simply chain ourselves to the stadium? Hell, anything except talk. That doesn't seem to be doing anything anymore because no one is listening.

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                              • Originally posted by voodoochile View Post
                                Man, if I was walking by the stadium and one of the workers threw a piece of concrete at me, I'd take it home and put it in a glass case.
                                agreed...I must have taken 15-20 pieces of concrete- every time I passed the stadium earlier this season before the blue fence was put up, I would grab what was loose. Also during the final season, I made sure to take a piece here and there when there was an opportunity...going to miss that place
                                sigpic

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