1. Summary of Conclusions
2. Design Concepts
3. Historical Issues
4. Seating and Other Program Elements
5. Revenue Areas and Public Spaces
6. 600 Club Design
7. Owners Suite
8. Ancilary Facilities
9. Foot Print and Other Planning Considerations
10. Height Issues
11. Preservation Aspects
12. Neighborhoods and Housing
13. Relation to Kenmore Square
14. Urban Context and Parking
15. Traffic Free Pedestrian Circulation
16. Phasing of the Construction
1. Summary of Conclusions
- It is possible to provide an expanded, contemporary Fenway Park while preserving and protecting all of the historic elements and the tradition that now characterize the ball park. Under this approach, an expanded Fenway Park would encompass 73 luxury suites, thousands of club seats, and 43500 - 44000 seats in all; restaurants and lounges would be added, concession services would be expanded in proportion to these seats; many fan-friendly features such as designated autograph areas, family picnic areas, and a pitching cage can be added.
- It appears possible to expand Fenway in a way that is economical and enhances the business operations of the Boston Red Sox. It is probable that this approach considering all aspects of the design, and a savings of $80 to $100 million in reported land acquisition costs, is less expensive than a new ballpark on a new site.
- This design investigation suggests that a renovated Fenway Park offers distinct advantages over a new stadium on another site due to it's proximity to Kenmore Square and distance from Boylston Street.
- It appears that a renovated Fenway Park would offer more potential for neighborhood growth, including new housing, and commercial space, a revitalized Boylston Street, an expanded entertainment area, and a new pedestrian link between developed Kenmore Square and the Fenway.
- The design investigation completed to date suggests that the expanded Fenway would be a beautiful structure expressing a unique building type in a contemporary architectural way.
2. Design Concepts
The Fenway Footprint
Selective footprint model
Historical / Contemporary Overlay
Existing Fenway Park
New Fenway Park
Boston & People Scale Issues
Existing low structures,
Low stepped structures
Masonry Brick, Green Steel
adjacent to Pedestrian Places:
Low Brick structures; Green Steel above
3. Historical issues
This design begins with an attitude of respect for the elements and the scale of Fenway Park that makes it special and unique. Because of it's size, scale, and quaintness, it has often been called a "family ballpark". This design approach has attempted to promote and protect that image . It also assumes a significant value to the " place" that is Fenway Park, where so much baseball history has been made and where generations of Red Sox fans have come to see their team and experience the ball park.
Historical aspects of Fenway Park are preserved with this design. The field of play will remain in it's present configuration. The dugouts and first 8-10 rows of seats will remain although the seats in these rows will be replaced with wider, more comfortable seats. The bleachers and the foul poles will remain while the slope of the main reconstructed grandstand will be basically as it is now. The infamous lelt field wall will remain without modification. Views to the skyline from within the park will be retained. The perimeter brick walls that have been a part of Fenway Park from it's beginning will be retained with only minor changes.
The visual spirit of Fenway Park will be reflected in the new construction. The new green painted steel structure and red brick materials will honor the ball park's original materials and maintain its architectural compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood.
This design, in a larger sense, will also preserve the fabric of adjacent buildings wherever possible. While they are not all necessarily historic, together they form a part of Boston's Fenway neighborhood and that should be, and is, protected here. Various building on Yawkey Way and Lansdowne Street fit into this category. At Brookline Avenue, the freestanding existing facade forms a public space but preserves the existing street line.
4 Seating and other program elements
The design drawings and models show an expanded Fenway ball park with:
- 43500 to 44000 seats. Non bleacher seats meet contemporary ball park standards for leg room and seat width.
- 73 luxury suites of various sizes;
- special club seating above the grandstand level;
- an all new 600 Club suitable for year-round use, featuring a restaurant overlooking the field and sloped seating behind home plate
Also shown are
- an expanded concession service area with an accetable point of sale / seat ratio
- an underground truck service area;
- Red Sox offices with 170 secure parking spaces below them for players , management and owners;
- A special place for fans to interact, for kids to get autographs, for family picnics, and for all to experience the special thrills and fun of baseball;
- A new Press box returned to it's pre-600 club position just above the grandstand and directly behind home plate;
- New clubhouses, excercise rooms and trainer facilities.
Generous seat sizes of 19 to 20 inches in width with standard back to back row dimensions are provided. Viewing angles from the new upper tier of seating is sloped at a comfortable 34.5 degrees; the distance from the edge of the upper tier to the home plate is a short 160 ft.
A single row of interior columns constructed along the outer edge of the existing grandstand will eliminate the farthest and poorest existing seats and allow for needed widened concourses and additional concessions.
New egress ramps, stair towers, elevator towers, concession towers also create a low perimeter of red brick and steel elements along new pedestrian areas.
5. Revenue areas and public spaces
Some areas outside the ballpark walls could be an essential part of an expanded Fenway Park. In concept they would become a series of "outdoor rooms".
The site of the existing Red Sox office building along Brookline Avenue would be cleared and the space made for public use. While not exceptionally large as a public space, it would consolidate a "main entrance" to Fenway, be available for ticketing and concessions and be a major part of arrival at Fenway. The existing building facades along Brookline Avenue in front of Fenway would be left freestanding to maintain the existing scale of the street and provide a unique entrance space for fans. The historic entrance building of 1912, now on Yawkey Way would be visable and accessable from this space. Baseball fans would move from this entrance space into the park, to the historic Gate "A" ticket building or into a pedestrian brick paved Yawkey Way.
With the reconstruction of Van Ness Street and Yawkey Way into new pedestrian spaces connected to the expanded park, new revenue generating buildings serving Fenway Park could be constructed providing special services year around. Restaurants with terraces overlooking Fenway Park on both Van Ness and Yawkey Way, office space for special tenants like the Sports Museum or a Red Sox gift shop could be a part of the ballpark experience. One thinks of the precedent set at Camden Yards and the wonderful activities that occupy the space along its major renovated B+O Warehouse building. Faneuil Hall Market Place in Boston comes also to mind. Fenway Park could have a series of these public " outdoor rooms" that would make baseball at Fenway an expanded experience.
As in Baltimore, bridge connections at an upper level to this expanded Fenway Park "footprint" would become possible. At the ground level new openings through the perimeter brick wall provide access to the "Hall of Fame", and concessions at the concourse level.
A new service area for Fenway Park is located below Van Ness Street . This former street would be gated and secured during games and would be for pedestrian use only. When games are not scheduled, gates would be opened and these park likes spaceswith grass and picnic tables, could be used by the public as an extention of the neighborhood.
At the end of Van Ness and Ipwich Street behind the bleachers, another controlled pedestrian area has been created. This landscaped space for fans and families suggests the positive aspects of baseball entertainment. In a pitching cage speed guns could check a fan's fastest pitch; or a batting cage could allow some fans to demonstrate to their kids how to hit. More importantly it would allow a place for Red Sox players to interact with fans and families, to sign autographs in special "autograph tents". Players might be encouraged to demonstrate baseball hitting techniques and to demonstrate how fast a 90 mph fast ball really is. In this outdoor room, Baseball again would feel to fans, families and the kids, very close , very real and accessable.
6. 600 Club design
Within the building, the design of the 600 Club will allow its use year around. During the baseball season, glass doors would close off public circulation from the 600 Club. Views to the playing field as well as views to the west would be a daily experience while dining facilities are used. A bar and lounge overlook the field. The required stepped platforms offer seats overlooking the field and home plate.
During the off-season, folding glass door are opened and additional tables are moved to the west wall with a panoramic view to the "Emerald Necklace" and the city. Bay windows add to the special Boston character to the restaurant. With the modular nature of the structure, this restaurant, if desired could be subdivided with moveable partitions to create special function rooms overlooking the field for private use.
A bridge from the enlarged and enhanced hotel at the current site of the Howard Johnson's motor lodge site could connect the 600 Club to the hotel . The 600 Club could then operate as the restaurant and function rooms for the Hotel.
7. Owner's suite
Similar to the improved layout and design of the 600 Club, the new Owner's suite is larger combining a conference room / living room overlooking the field as well as stepped seating for seeing games. Conventional service spaces for food preparation and bathrooms, coats are available. A private key operated elevator serves the Owner's suite directly and connects an existing entrance on Yawkey Way.
8. Ancilary Facilities
The new Red Sox office building located behind right field is constructed with expanded player facilities, training rooms , meeting rooms, and other services could be located here. Press conference rooms could be held here. Remote Press facilities may be located here as well.
This four storied office structure for private use by the Red Sox has two levels of private, secure parking below grade and a direct underground connection to Fenway Park. This passageway, once inside the ballpark, has elevators and stairs to allow player access to a secure corridor leading to the Clubhouse. It also leads Red Sox Owners and special guests to a secure upper level connection serving, by elevator, the suite levels and the 600 Club.
Lansdowne Street is an important space for people in any plan to expand Fenway Park. The low density, old inefficient parking structures at the Brookline Avenue end, could and should be expanded and upgraded. At the lower end of Lansdowne Street, the buildings with larger size and quality, appear better and should be preserved.
Lansdowne Street itself could become paved as a pedestrian surface, for pedestrian use only during games. In the off season and when games are not scheduled, the street space would again be a public city street and accept car traffic. The historical entrance at Gate "C" below the bleachers would still be used.
9. Foot Print and other planning considerations
The existing footprint of Fenway is 7.9 acres is too small for ball parks with more than 40000 seats. Clearly an expanded Fenway will have to have more surface area to provide services and space for people. The expanded footprint shown here has about 20 acres for Fenway Park use.
The enlarged site within which an expanded Fenway would work would be created carefully. We are advocating a "selective" footprint or "campus plan" approach here, to expand Fenway, rather than a "super block" footprint approach .
The existing Fenway site is surrounded with open land, older buildings, and good existing buildings that can allow expansion of the Park in a meaningful way. This design investigation uses some of the existing buildings, replaces some and proposes new development along Yawkey Way and Van Ness Street. It also proposes private development along the existing entertainment district on Lansdowne Street.
It is not the intention of this report to establish a plan for land taking or widescale ownership changes to adjacent properties or to require development opportunities . The ultimate formula between existing property owners, the City and the Red Sox owners of Fenway Park can, with shared goals and responsibility, result in a solution that will provide significant revenues to the Red Sox , more enjoyment for fans, and a better City to enjoy for those who live near Fenway Park.
In addition, the location of Fenway can impact the area around it in a positive way if planned appropriately. If an expanded park is close to Kenmore Square, the Turnpike extention, and the entertainment district along Lansdowne Street , it's impact will be a positive one. Growth toward the north with structures over or near the expressway , with close ties to Storrow Drive, would leave the land to the south for other more beneficial uses in keeping with the residential quality of that area.
The uses to the south and west could include more housing and residential services which benefit the neighborhood over the long term rather than the seasonal game time influx of fans related to baseball. With medical facilities to the west, post medical facilities or residential living units with care facilities may provide a perfect buffer between hospital and home. The beauty of the Fenway, the immediacy of shopping along a revived Boylston Street and the immediacy of cultural facilities like MFA and Symphony Hall suggest the need to strengthen the residential component in any equasion of use.
10. Height issues
To maintain the grass level of the playing field that exists now and the grandstand slope to the existing historic wall, requires a design that is 100 ft high at it's upper edge ( 110' on Van Ness Street) which is 10 ft higher than the existing structure of Fenway behind home plate.
Without the ability to locate a new playing field significantly below the surrounding street levels, the result will be a slightly taller structure for a renovated and expanded Fenway Park than designs that lower the playing field significantly lower than street level.
To improve the scale of Fenway Park and reduce it overall apparent height , exterior building elements are constructed along Yawkey way and Van Ness Street. The brick enclosures of these structures terminate at the height of the existing Fenway Park historic walls and above this level, a structural steel and a metal panel system of materials would be used. The visual result should result in a building with lower scale.
11. Preservation aspects
The design guidelines issued to us by Save Fenway Inc. are listed below; we support these guidelines wherever possible in the expansion of Fenway Park. These are the key historic elements are worthy of protection:
- field configuration
- wall heights
- hand operated score board
- foul poles
- slope and configuration, angle of grandstand, bleachers
- view to Citgo sign
- Gate "A" lobby
- Height and set back line ( roof overhang)
- green color of structural elements
- 1912 Yawkey Way facade
- Proximity of exterior walls to surrounding streets
- back of Green Monster facing on Landsdowne Street
- 1912 / 1934 exterior walls
- structure elements with trusses, posts , bay widths
- gate locations other than Gate "A"
The design that we have provided essentally protects all these elements with few exceptions. Preserving the existing " roof setback line" has not been possible to maintain if the angle of view from the upper grandstand is kept to reasonable slopes. Some portions of the existing brick walls are removed for the expansion of revenue spaces and circulation elements. We feel the trade off in the design for structural reasons and construction sequencing make these only small compromises.
12. Neighborhoods and Housing
With the retention of Fenway Park in its present location, benefits allowing other land uses including housing expansion, are possible. The proposed design investigation recommends expanded housing and neighborhood parks at various locations and expanding retail space along Boylston Street for local residents. This growth and strengthening of the neighborhood will result in a revitalized Boylston Street where "an urban village" often used as a goal for this street, would become a reality.
13. Relation to Kenmore Square
Currently, Kenmore Square is an intersection of road systems heading to and from the city with a bus terminal in its center. With few trees and places for people, the Square is primarily a place for cars, buses, and trucks.
The recommendations outlined on the drawings show one of many possible solutions that make the Square a better place for people. With an expanded Fenway Park, an opportunity is possible for a strong tie to Kenmore Square and the urban life and activity it suggests. "Air rights" over the turnpike should be investigated with major parking structures located here to serve Fenway and additional retail growth adjacent to Kenmore Squar.
The schematic ideas shown on the models show glass covered , pedestrian walkway from the Kenmore "T" station to Lansdowne Street interacting with new retail facilities and cinema complexes, restaurants, clubs, and other forms of entertainment . An expanded landscaped series of small triangular parks make the traditional bridge crossing along Brookline Avenue more people friendly.
Growth from a new expanded Fenway Park toward Kenmore Square rather than toward the neighborhoods to the south is vital in our estimation. The closer this connection is, the more meaningful and valuable these joint use facilities will be for the people using both Kenmore Square and Fenway Park and the more stimulating it will be for businesses in both locations.
The BRA indicates that the existing bus terminal structure in the center of Kenmore Square will eventually be eliminated. Using this ides, the design and model shows an extention of landscape and public walks on Commonwealth Avenue into the Square. For the city, Kenmore Square could become a special arrival " place for people" of a quality commensorate with the best public spaces elsewhere in the City.
An ultimate goal of this " pedestrian experience", shown on the drawings,is the connection of the original Olmstead " Emerald Necklace " and the esplanade of the Charles River. The present pedestrian experience is interrupted by the elevated and surface highway system that cuts to the river just east of the Square. The proposed pedestrian link to the River using Deerfield Street and bridging Storrow Drive could join Kenmore Square, then connect to Fenway Park with the proposed glass-covered connection over the expressway and continue on to the Back Bay Fens to the south.
14. Urban Context and parking
No design of this scope can be undertaken without the examination of required and desired support facilties that will make this ball park a success for fans, the City and Owners .The planning ideas, here, address solutions that could benefit all the participants that will be impacted by an expanded Fenway Park.
The adjacent land near and around Fenway is not highly developed. The open space near the highway and near routes into and from the City suggest the impact of automobiles could be controlled without creating adverse conditions. Shown is a decentraized series of parking structures that hold 4450 cars. Some of these structures west of Brookline Avenue near Beacon Street, are included in the Fenway Park "footprint" and are anticipated to generate Red Sox for revenue. Access from and to these garages allow car traffic to move quickly on Beacon Street and Brookline Avenue.
Other structures are proposed to be built above the Turnpike extention. All automobile entrances and exits direct traffic to egress the city with minimal adverse affects on the immediate neighborhood. These parking structures serve Fenway and also a revitalized Kenmore Square.
Further investigation would be required regarding access to parking garages directly o and from the Turnpike from both its directions. It appears that depressing the tracks along the Turnpike west of Brookline Avenue could allow direct access for traffic traveling east into the city into and from major parking structures serving Fenway Park. If achievable minimal car traffic before or after games would impact streets surrounding the ball park.
15. Traffic Free Pedestrian Circulation
Kenmore Square, with its tight, heavily traveled street pattern is restricted in its growth capacity. By developing the air rights over the expressway in an appropriate way and possibly combining pedestrian walkways with shopping and entertainment experiences, Kenmore Square, Fenway Park and the Lansdowne Street entertainment district could be tied together in a meaningful way.
If the City and the MBTA will upgrade transportation services like bus services and the Kenmore "T" Station and Yawkey Station with additional scheduled trains during game days / nights, special late night trains after night games, the demand for parking structures may be lessened.
Yawkey way would become a totally pedestrian space in this proposal for an expanded Fenway Park as would Van Ness Street. Both these spaces would be open to public use when games are not scheduled or during the off season. Lansdown Street would be for pedestrian use only during games but would be open for automobile traffic at other times.
16. Phasing of the Construction
Clearly this is one of the difficult aspects of an expanded Fenway Park. This investigation assumes that the Red Sox season will continue throughout the construction period to maintain revenue flow. This approach assumes the economic necessity of maintaining as many seats during construction as possible for fans in a clean and safe environment.
What is shown is a construction process that would take place over a three to four year period. Priority time use or revenue requirements will provide different end dates.
A key concept for this design is to construct almost all major vertical structures and services outside the existing Fenway walls ( in Yawkey Way, Van Ness Street, and Lansdowne Street ). Much of the work can be year round construction. The integral use of the moving crane system will allow construction to continue without damage to the finished ground surfaces. These traveling cranes could also be used for ongoing adjacent construction along Van Ness and Yawkey Way. New clubhouse facilities and new fitness rooms, for trainers and players would be constructed in between seasons.
Without specific structural information related to foundations and footings below the existing grandstand, it is difficult to make final conclusions that allow changes to the grandstand easily. Proposed here, are precast concrete seating elements added above the existing girders using the existing foundation structures. If necessary, reinforcing the existing columns to the footings or replacement of those columns on the same footings is possible. Existing available soil condition data from sites around Fenway Park and minimum- clearance pile driving equipment suggest that new selective foundations, if needed, could be constructed within the proposed construction schedule.
Beside our primary strategy, of building major elements outside the walls of Fenway, a second necessity, to enable a shortened construction schedule is the prefabrication and preassembly of elements of the building, to the greatest extent possible. With the exception of new concrete foundations all the elements for the building or as many as possible should be brought to the staging area preassembled and ready for crane assembly. This suggests prefabricated steel for columns and trusses and precast concrete seating platforms, as well as railings and seats.
Construction Erection and scheduling
The proposed integral use of moving cranes will allow construction to continue without interruption or delayed start-up times, or damage to or interference with the completed ground surfaces. Various locations for traveling crane routes have been investigated. Additional discussions need to be done but construction experience for other similar structures suggest this is a method that will make a compressed time schedule possible. The solution recommended is a fixed rail system that would run on the ground along Van Ness Street with two fixed cranes on Yawkey Way opposite the exterior walls of Fenway and possible traveling cranes along the inside of the park in off-season use primarily for grandstand upgrading. See sheet # 26 of the drawings. From a staging area at Brookline Street and another at Ipswich Street, all parts of the structure can be constructed.
The Liebherr Traveling Crane and other similar cranes, that have been investigated, are designed for a track system. Their size, lifting capacity, radius and operating heights are within the parameters of the conditions for Fenway Park. With the radius of each crane in the range of a 240 feet, these traveling cranes can be used also for ongoing adjacent construction along Van Ness and Yawkey way across from Fenway Park.
These are safe structural erection procedures with counter balanced cranes manufactured specifically for moving materials and erecting structure from a rail system (see the material describing phasing of the construction and scheduling in the drawings). While not inexpensive, they themselves are made of individual steel components that are leasable or can be purchased and sold back to the crane company at the end of construction. Considering the overall investment and costs of the new Fenway, and the schedule between and during baseball seasons, it appears to be a construction procedure that is necessary.
On the interior of the historical walls, a single row of interior columns (27) constructed along the outer edge of the existing grandstand will eliminate the farthest, poorest existing seats and allow for needed widened concourses and concessions. These new column footings ( piles) and foundations do present some minor difficulty with location, and scheduling but with the number and spacing, they can be constructed in the off season and new fabricated steel columns inserted to levels above the existing grandstand. What is anticipated, based on soil bearing information from nearby sites, would be to use mini piles placed with rigs requiring minimum height clearances .
Upgrade of the Existing Grandstand
This scope of work is different from the construction of the elevated new tiers of suites and upper seating. It suggests a different construction approach, different preparation for efficient phasing and scheduling. We recommend that this scope be handled almost as a separate construction operation with its scheduling and construction process coordinated with the major overhead construction. During the six months of off-season, traveling cranes could be placed on the playing field outside the foul line to remove the old grandstand structure and erect new seating structure in their place. Protection would be provided to the playing field, and any damage would be repaired and sod replaced before the baseball season began.
Demolition of the Upper Structures
While the demolition of much of the upper level is fairly simple and could be done quickly, the loss of revenue is little except for the 600 Club. A second issue that is essential is the ongoing use of the press area and broadcast booths.
In the proposed Construction Schedule, the 600 Club is retained as long as possible along with the Press spaces. As the construction proceeds, it probably would be wise to assume the 600 Club would be removed for a single season with the revenue loss it entails, and construct smaller temporary broadcast areas overlooking home plate. Most of the major communications needs and production spaces not essential in Fenway Park, could be located elsewhere.
In order to simplify the staging of the construction, it may also be wise to
temporarily lease space while the existing building housing the Red Sox
offices along Brookline Street is demolished and a west staging area is made
available for the construction staging.