Connell: Q&A with Janet Marie Smith, ballpark architect

From Sarah Connell at Worcester Magazine on October 18, 2018, with SABR member Janet Marie Smith:

It often seems as though Janet Marie Smith is in three places at once. She maintains residency in Baltimore, where she is best known for for her work on the design and construction of Camden Yards. She is the senior vice president of planning and development for the Los Angeles Dodgers. And these days, Smith is frequently spotted in Worcester aside former Boston Red Sox executive Larry Lucchino planning the site for the future Worcester Red Sox. Worcester residents may remember Smith as the woman who oversaw the preservation and expansion of Fenway Park from 2002-2009.

Why baseball?

I came into baseball through the back door. As a baseball fan, I caught wind when the Orioles decided they wanted to build their ballpark downtown. Larry Lucchino worked out this deal with the state of Maryland for the Orioles to be at what we now know as Camden Yards. At first I thought, ‘Oh, that’s too bad. I hate to see them leave Memorial Stadium.’ But then, I started thinking about downtown Baltimore and how it had totally redefined itself when the containerization came in and all of the ships went out of the inner harbor. The city was one of the first along the northeastern coast to take those piers out and create a public park. And then they put in a science center and an aquarium. They put the Convention Center downtown along with a hotel. They ultimately mimicked the market places that turned into Faneuil Hall in Boston, using the same developer, Jim Rouse, who lived in Maryland. And I thought, ‘What an amazing way to bring three million people a year into the center of the city.’

Read the full article here:–ballpark-designer

Originally published: October 18, 2018. Last Updated: October 18, 2018.