Friday, November 18, 2005

Moron Stadium Design [no typo]

The Post has an article on the latest version of the design for the baseball park in D.C. Again, we hear the themes that the stadium will be "modern" in appearance, with lots of exposed glass.

The new article fleshes that out somewhat. The key paragraph states:
The stadium, which will be along the Anacostia River in near Southeast, features an exterior wall largely made of glass and broken up by limestone portals, according to city sources who have seen the drawings. Aspects of the design create a translucent quality, offering fans inside views of the surrounding neighborhood and teasing those outside with glimpses of game activities.

To me, the fact that you can see the outside of the stadium from the inside is a real turn off. If you've been to the current area designated for the stadium, it is a hideously ugly area. Even if you assume that the development around the stadium will improve that somewhat, that will take years for such an improvement to happen. For the most part, this is a dirty, industrial area, with the exception of Fort McNair. Looking north on South Capitol, you see a web of expressway on ramps that is wholly ugly. We go to a park to see baseball games, not what is outside the baseball games.

In reading this description of the design, I have to agree with Jack Evans, who, upon seeing the design with his own eyes, said:
"Jack was like, 'No, no, no!' " said one city source involved in the discussions. "He thinks it looks like an office building."

The statement that it looks like an office building is even more disturbing than the bland description in an article. The District has way, way too many office building built in the glass-and-steel style from the 1960's and 1970's. They are a blight on our fair district; they are neither unique, beautiful nor memorable.

I part ways with Mr. Evans when it comes to a "red brick" structure. It has been my personal belief that the DC stadium design should evoke something from the District's history. I believe a design based on the Federal Triangle is the best way to go, especially given the beauty of the Fin-de-Siecle design.

Even more disturbing is the fact that the stadium design is likely to be approved by the City Council, rather than the ownership of the team itself. I think if, as the Post otherwise suggests today, that a baseball guy like Stan Kasten will be running the team, the new ownership will know best as to what stadium designs will work.

And I'm sure a see-through-stadium won't be something on the top of their list.


At 9:16 PM, Blogger DM said...

Totally right, SNV. I don't want to see an ersatz Camden Yards, but something conservative and sensible like Citizen's Bank Park in Philly would be fine. Let the other buildings that come after set a dramatic tone.

As I've said elsewhere, this is classic D.C. decisionmaking. Preach fiscal restraint and even get into trouble with your bondholders, but then blow the budget on intangible, abstract crap like a see-through stadium that has a 50/50 chance of being an outdated eyesore in 10 years.


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