Sunday, April 19, 2009
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Joseph Campbell said that one can tell what a society values based on its largest buildings. When looking at the new baseball stadium Citi Field in Flushing, Queens, it was very evident that the love of baseball was alive and well.
Four tickets to yesterday's Mets game landed in our lap most generously, so we took the kids to their first baseball game. James and I were quite curious about the new stadium, designed by HOK Sport, who have renovated at least 13 ball fields. NY baseball history is touched by greatness, as well as some sadness. Of course, The Brooklyn Dodgers broke the color barrier with the legendary Jackie Robinson, but the loss of the Dodgers was a heartbreak to many of the fans, including my father Arnold Palumbo, who spent many hours at Ebbets Field watching the team play. By using the same materials as Ebbets Field, the new stadium tried to pull in the past while accommodating modern crowds. And I must say the result was a very efficient flow to the space. Under steel girders that would remind you of supports for elevated subway cars, fans stream through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, up the escalators, and to the concourse. Bars, bathrooms, food concession line the interior space as we made our way to our seats. The seats have spectacular, unobstructed views and even I watched the game. If the goal of architecture is to match form and function perfectly, Citi Field did just that.