National Trust for Historic Preservation: On Dodger Stadium

From Lauren Walser at the National Trust for Historic Preservation on July 18, 2013:

I didn’t grow up in a very sports-minded family, but I still remember the first time I stepped foot inside Dodger Stadium. I was six years old, and my aunt and uncle treated my cousins and me to a night at the ballpark. While I’m certain I paid more attention to my Dodger Dog and the rowdy fans than I did to the architecture (or even the game), I do remember a definite magic to the place.

When I returned to the stadium to catch a game earlier this year, now a full-fledged grown-up, my attention still wasn’t so much on the game as it was the setting. I’m pretty sure there’s no more beautiful place to watch America’s favorite pastime. 

Just a few miles north of downtown Los Angeles, Dodger Stadium is built into Chavez Ravine and offers stunning views of the downtown skyline to the south, Elysian Park to the north and east, and in the far distance, the San Gabriel Mountains. An enormous terraced parking lot surrounds the stadium, with mature landscaping showcasing native and drought-resistant plants.

The stadium itself — the third oldest continuously used park in Major League Baseball and the oldest on the West Coast — was constructed using tens of thousands of cast concrete units. Inside its gates are its signature pastel-colored seats and curving roofs covering each outfield pavilion.

“It has these very ‘60s features and, architecturally, a really distinctive palate that’s very Southern Californian,” says Janet Marie Smith, an architect and planner who was involved in recent renovations to the stadium.

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Originally published: July 25, 2013. Last Updated: July 25, 2013.