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View Full Version : The Cell could have been Household Field


southsidesoxfan1
09-08-2010, 01:32 PM
http://blogs.vocalo.org/bey/2010/08/how-sox-park-almost-had-a-household-name/34894#more-34894

Harry Potter
09-08-2010, 01:36 PM
I'm going to The House!

Take it to The House!

TheOldRoman
09-08-2010, 01:39 PM
Awesome find. An overhead view showing the proposed LF entrance was posted on here long ago, but I don't know if anyone thought it was official. It is cool to see a closeup view. That looks really nice and I hope the Sox consider doing that in the future with the Metra station opening up soon.

Foulke You
09-08-2010, 01:50 PM
"Cash from the deal made some much needed improvements to pretty-up what had been the ugliest professional baseball stadium in America"

Give me a break with that nonsense. New Comiskey Park had its flaws but was still way better than the Metrodome, Riverfront, Shea, Tropicana, and a slew of other ballparks. Our ballpark has to be the most over critiqued stadium in all of professional sports.

skobabe8
09-08-2010, 02:31 PM
Umm...wow!

What a great find. Alot of people on here were begging for that faux storefront concession look. I actually would be open to it if it were done right.

The grand entrance would have been terrific.

cards press box
09-08-2010, 02:51 PM
Household Finance would have provided a historical link to those of us who remember Sox announcer Bob Elson and those commercials where he would say "call friendly Bob Adams at Household Finance."

gregoriop
09-08-2010, 02:53 PM
"Cash from the deal made some much needed improvements to pretty-up what had been the ugliest professional baseball stadium in America"

Give me a break with that nonsense. New Comiskey Park had its flaws but was still way better than the Metrodome, Riverfront, Shea, Tropicana, and a slew of other ballparks. Our ballpark has to be the most over critiqued stadium in all of professional sports.


This is exactly what I thought.

That entrance would have been cool minus the fake street Disneyland nonsense.

ewokpelts
09-08-2010, 03:25 PM
we still need the grand entrance at 35th. the recent ramp replacement at gate 5 looks a lot like what was proposed back in 2001.

TheOldRoman
09-08-2010, 03:36 PM
we still need the grand entrance at 35th. the recent ramp replacement at gate 5 looks a lot like what was proposed back in 2001.Yeah, and the ramp from that rendering had both sides only givin access to the 100 level. I wonder what is on deck. They redid half of the ramp on that side by demolishing it and putting in a new ramp/bridge which only goes to the 100 level. They soon will have to redo the other half of the ramp, along with with the other major ramp and the smaller ones in the outfield corners. We saw a report a few years ago that the ramps' life expectancies were a little over 20 years.

Will they rebuild the other 35th St. ramp like the new one, not giving access to the 300 and 500 levels? If so they would absolutely need this new entrance in the LF corner.

Red Barchetta
09-08-2010, 04:23 PM
I would love to see a grand entrance similar to that original design. I remember that the Fundamentals area was originally designed to be inside the structure, so I'm sure it would need to updated.

doublem23
09-08-2010, 04:29 PM
Give me a break with that nonsense. New Comiskey Park had its flaws but was still way better than the Metrodome, Riverfront, Shea, Tropicana, and a slew of other ballparks. Our ballpark has to be the most over critiqued stadium in all of professional sports.

The Cell has the indignation, of course, of being the last "modern-type" ballpark built before the retro-type craze took off that is with us today. So of course it's going to be overly criticized. Hey, the cookie-cutter parks of the 1970s were ugly as ****, but by the time the Cell was built in 1991, architects had 20 years to learn from those mistakes and they still pumped out a bland, sterile ballmall. It's amazing how ugly the park looks now in some old footage.

The U.S. Cellular renovations have done a lot to enhance the gameday experience there now. Now I'd say it's middle of the road in terms of appearance, aesthetics, etc. But don't get me wrong, before U.S Cellular came along, the park was actually very, very ugly.

Hitmen77
09-08-2010, 07:01 PM
"Cash from the deal made some much needed improvements to pretty-up what had been the ugliest professional baseball stadium in America"

Give me a break with that nonsense. New Comiskey Park had its flaws but was still way better than the Metrodome, Riverfront, Shea, Tropicana, and a slew of other ballparks. Our ballpark has to be the most over critiqued stadium in all of professional sports.

Yeah, no kidding. Does this guy have Paul Sullivan ghost-write for him or something? That statement is grossly exaggerated. Pre-renovation New Comiskey had its flaw, no doubt. But the over-the-top bashing it got (and still gets, apparently) was ridiculous.

The Cell has the indignation, of course, of being the last "modern-type" ballpark built before the retro-type craze took off that is with us today. So of course it's going to be overly criticized. Hey, the cookie-cutter parks of the 1970s were ugly as ****, but by the time the Cell was built in 1991, architects had 20 years to learn from those mistakes and they still pumped out a bland, sterile ballmall. It's amazing how ugly the park looks now in some old footage.

The U.S. Cellular renovations have done a lot to enhance the gameday experience there now. Now I'd say it's middle of the road in terms of appearance, aesthetics, etc. But don't get me wrong, before U.S Cellular came along, the park was actually very, very ugly.

It still wasn't the "ugliest professional baseball stadium in America". Not even close.

Brian26
09-08-2010, 07:11 PM
Hey, the cookie-cutter parks of the 1970s were ugly as ****, but by the time the Cell was built in 1991, architects had 20 years to learn from those mistakes and they still pumped out a bland, sterile ballmall. It's amazing how ugly the park looks now in some old footage.

Part of the problem is that, although the park opened in '91 and construction has begun in May of '89, the actual design of the park was finished in '86 for the Addison proposal. The design was probably requested in '85, if not earlier.

Brian26
09-08-2010, 07:12 PM
Awesome find. An overhead view showing the proposed LF entrance was posted on here long ago

I remember seeing the original sketch images posted here in 2001 or 2002 with the right-field homerun porch. Would be fun to see those again. For awhile, they were posted on the HOK website.

doublem23
09-08-2010, 08:01 PM
Part of the problem is that, although the park opened in '91 and construction has begun in May of '89, the actual design of the park was finished in '86 for the Addison proposal. The design was probably requested in '85, if not earlier.

OK, so they had 10-15 years to learn from those mistakes. It didn't take a genius, let alone a professional sports architect, to see how terrible those designs were.

Point being, the Cell's original design was a colossal failure. I have no problem calling it the ugliest park in baseball. It was, maybe not just from a design perspective, but when rolled up with little imagination and here, in one of the world's architecture capitals, it was dropped, makes it so.

WhiteSox5187
09-08-2010, 08:05 PM
OK, so they had 10-15 years to learn from those mistakes. It didn't take a genius, let alone a professional sports architect, to see how terrible those designs were.

Point being, the Cell's original design was a colossal failure. I have no problem calling it the ugliest park in baseball. It was.

I don't know if it was the ugliest, at the time you still had Three Rivers Stadium, Riverfront Stadium, Stade Olympic, Veteran's Stadium, and of course the Metrodome. However it was every bit as ugly as Shea Stadium.

soxlady8
09-08-2010, 08:32 PM
does anyone have any pictures of the old park , before the remodel?

I don't remember it being super ugly , but the UD was so tall it seemed you could touch the planes-

WhiteSox5187
09-08-2010, 08:33 PM
does anyone have any pictures of the old park , before the remodel?

I don't remember it being super ugly , but the UD was so tall it seemed you could touch the planes-

It was hideous and just looked cold.

doublem23
09-08-2010, 08:50 PM
I don't know if it was the ugliest, at the time you still had Three Rivers Stadium, Riverfront Stadium, Stade Olympic, Veteran's Stadium, and of course the Metrodome. However it was every bit as ugly as Shea Stadium.

Right, but my point is those were all ugly because they were all built at the same time. People didn't know any better. Comiskey Park II replicated all those failed designs despite having over a decade of prep time.

And this is Chicago. Eyesores in Pittsburgh or Philly are one thing. Here? Forget about it.

ewokpelts
09-08-2010, 08:50 PM
OK, so they had 10-15 years to learn from those mistakes. It didn't take a genius, let alone a professional sports architect, to see how terrible those designs were.

Point being, the Cell's original design was a colossal failure. I have no problem calling it the ugliest park in baseball. It was, maybe not just from a design perspective, but when rolled up with little imagination and here, in one of the world's architecture capitals, it was dropped, makes it so.two things:

1. that is what the SOX requested of the designers.

2. look at the skydome. it's aged badly, but when it opened, everyone loved it. that was designed earlier than new comiskey.

doublem23
09-08-2010, 08:51 PM
does anyone have any pictures of the old park , before the remodel?

I don't remember it being super ugly , but the UD was so tall it seemed you could touch the planes-

Good panorama

http://www.baseball-statistics.com/Ballparks/ChiWS/comiskey-picture.jpg

doublem23
09-08-2010, 08:52 PM
two things:

1. that is what the SOX requested of the designers.

2. look at the skydome. it's aged badly, but when it opened, everyone loved it. that was designed earlier than new comiskey.

Everyone loved new Sox Park when it first opened, too. I believe Sparky Anderson, manager of the Tigers, the first visiting team to play at the park said the place was "beautiful" when it first opened.

Then the Orioles came along and revolutionized baseball stadiums. 5 years after it opened, Comiskey Park was obsolete.

wassagstdu
09-08-2010, 09:15 PM
Everyone loved new Sox Park when it first opened, too. I believe Sparky Anderson, manager of the Tigers, the first visiting team to play at the park said the place was "beautiful" when it first opened.

Then the Orioles came along and revolutionized baseball stadiums. 5 years after it opened, Comiskey Park was obsolete.

I thought New Comiskey was fabulous. I liked it better than the current version. As for Camden Yards, with its short right field, I think that is a terrible design for a ballpark and I have never cared for it. Old Comiskey was the best ballpark I have seen. (And the first time I saw it I sat in the next-to-last row of the famous upper deck in left, looking at home plate over the top of the foul pole. Still loved it. I still remember watching a Bo Jackson home run just jump out of there below us in left.)

Red Barchetta
09-08-2010, 09:15 PM
Good panorama

http://www.baseball-statistics.com/Ballparks/ChiWS/comiskey-picture.jpg

I never really described Comiskey II as "ugly", rather as "sterile". It was like building a new home and not painting over the builder primer or installing any landscaping. The first thing I noticed during the first game I attended was that the sound dissapated into the air. It felt very open and I felt removed from the action on the field.

The non-stained concrete, blue seats, white lattice, the bullpen and outfield HR "motes" were horrible. The Robert Taylor homes didn't help either.

Too bad Baltimore's park wasn't built first. If the JR could have waited 5 more years, Daly would have been in office and I'm sure he would have supported a south or western Loop ballpark with the skyline in the background. A nice Comiskey I clone built a little bigger with better sight lines, etc., however similar in concept.

Oh well....:(:

WhiteSox5187
09-08-2010, 10:53 PM
I never really described Comiskey II as "ugly", rather as "sterile". It was like building a new home and not painting over the builder primer or installing any landscaping. The first thing I noticed during the first game I attended was that the sound dissapated into the air. It felt very open and I felt removed from the action on the field.

The non-stained concrete, blue seats, white lattice, the bullpen and outfield HR "motes" were horrible. The Robert Taylor homes didn't help either.

Too bad Baltimore's park wasn't built first. If the JR could have waited 5 more years, Daly would have been in office and I'm sure he would have supported a south or western Loop ballpark with the skyline in the background. A nice Comiskey I clone built a little bigger with better sight lines, etc., however similar in concept.

Oh well....:(:

Why this wasn't done is beyond me, I don't know any Sox fan who didn't love the old ballpark when it was there. I think JR was the only person who didn't like it and wanted to build a stadium more in the mode of Dodgers Stadium and completely ignore 80 years of White Sox history.

Red Barchetta
09-09-2010, 09:37 AM
Why this wasn't done is beyond me, I don't know any Sox fan who didn't love the old ballpark when it was there. I think JR was the only person who didn't like it and wanted to build a stadium more in the mode of Dodgers Stadium and completely ignore 80 years of White Sox history.

I know, it can drive you nuts to think about it. Like Jacob's Field in Cleveland, the park could have been built where the playing field was below street level offering a nice outside brick facade with Old Comiskey like windows that would have fit in nicely in the south or western Loop. I love the idea of the Sears Tower looming over the outfield walls. It would have been a great opportunity to showcase the beautiful city landscape.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda....

TheOldRoman
09-09-2010, 10:15 AM
I know, it can drive you nuts to think about it. Like Jacob's Field in Cleveland, the park could have been built where the playing field was below street level offering a nice outside brick facade with Old Comiskey like windows that would have fit in nicely in the south or western Loop. I love the idea of the Sears Tower looming over the outfield walls. It would have been a great opportunity to showcase the beautiful city landscape.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda....Daver has posted that they couldn't build underground because that area is below the water level, or something like that. Basically, the field would be a swamp like Soldier Field is.

Red Barchetta
09-09-2010, 10:39 AM
Daver has posted that they couldn't build underground because that area is below the water level, or something like that. Basically, the field would be a swamp like Soldier Field is.

At the current location or in the south/west loop? I think about how they built Millenium park over the rail lines and how on the SW side of the Loop near Sears Tower how the street levels are actually raised , i.e. Lower Whacker, etc. I guess it would be the perception of street level. :D:

Hitmen77
09-09-2010, 11:02 AM
http://www.baseball-statistics.com/Ballparks/ChiWS/comiskey-picture.jpg

I never really described Comiskey II as "ugly", rather as "sterile". It was like building a new home and not painting over the builder primer or installing any landscaping. The first thing I noticed during the first game I attended was that the sound dissapated into the air. It felt very open and I felt removed from the action on the field.

The non-stained concrete, blue seats, white lattice, the bullpen and outfield HR "motes" were horrible. The Robert Taylor homes didn't help either.



The bright blue "batter's eye" didn't help either. The view of that location now with the fan deck and the plantings is like night and day. Another eye sore was the "service tunnel" (or whatever it was called) right behind home plate. You didn't notice it much at the park, but on TV when a batter was up, you couldn't see any fans. All you could see in the background was this ugly service tunnel area.

The new Fundamental area has really helped break up what used to look like foul pole-to-foul pole expressway-style billboards.

The new roof is a vast improvement over the old structure (I wouldn't even call it a "roof") plus from the outside, they installed translucent panels to cover up the view of the underside of the stands. This eliminated the unsightly "saucer" look the top of the park had.

Lopping off the top 1/3 of the upper deck really helped with perception because all people ever talked about before was "nosebleed seats, nosebleed seats, nosebleed seats!" Yes, those seats were bad, but people talked it up like ever single seat at New Comiskey as in the last row of the upper deck. Those last 8 rows are gone and there's a new roof over the rest of the UD and people don't talk much about nosebleed seats anymore.

Red Barchetta
09-09-2010, 11:31 AM
Good panorama

http://www.baseball-statistics.com/Ballparks/ChiWS/comiskey-picture.jpg

Is there a current similar panorama of US Cellular? I would love to see them side by side because I think it would really show the dramatic improvements over the years...

tacosalbarojas
09-09-2010, 12:11 PM
The bright blue "batter's eye" didn't help either. The view of that location now with the fan deck and the plantings is like night and day. Another eye sore was the "service tunnel" (or whatever it was called) right behind home plate. You didn't notice it much at the park, but on TV when a batter was up, you couldn't see any fans. All you could see in the background was this ugly service tunnel area.

The new Fundamental area has really helped break up what used to look like foul pole-to-foul pole expressway-style billboards.

The new roof is a vast improvement over the old structure (I wouldn't even call it a "roof") plus from the outside, they installed translucent panels to cover up the view of the underside of the stands. This eliminated the unsightly "saucer" look the top of the park had.

Lopping off the top 1/3 of the upper deck really help with perception because all people ever talked about before was "nosebleed seats, nosebleed seats, nosebleed seats!" Yes, those seats were bad, but people talked it up like ever single seat at New Comiskey as in the last row of the upper deck. Those last 8 rows are gone and there's a new roof over the rest of the UD and people don't talk much about nosebleed seats anymore.
Great summary of my most favorite upgrades. It really does feel like a different park from what we stepped into in April 1991.

doublem23
09-09-2010, 12:37 PM
Great summary of my most favorite upgrades. It really does feel like a different park from what we stepped into in April 1991.

Oh yeah, even though I criticized the original designs, I'm a pretty big fan of the park now. I mean, it's not the best park in the league, but it is leaps and bounds better than what it used to be. It's amazing how much a difference those green seats made. Overall, U.S. Cellular Field is now a very nice place to watch a game.

WhiteSoxFTW
09-09-2010, 03:01 PM
That "mall-like concession concourse" that he speaks of is a lot like what the Yankees did at the new ballpark. But, their area is more for nostalgia and history.

Foulke You
09-09-2010, 04:32 PM
I never really described Comiskey II as "ugly", rather as "sterile". It was like building a new home and not painting over the builder primer or installing any landscaping. The first thing I noticed during the first game I attended was that the sound dissapated into the air. It felt very open and I felt removed from the action on the field.

The non-stained concrete, blue seats, white lattice, the bullpen and outfield HR "motes" were horrible. The Robert Taylor homes didn't help either.
Your synopsis is how I felt about New Comiskey in the pre renovation days. There is a difference between sterile and ugly. I never thought the park was ugly, I just felt that it was bland and had some design flaws. Many of these flaws have since been fixed. The HHH Metrodome, Riverfront, Olympic Stadium, Dolphins Stadium...now those are ugly baseball parks.

jdm2662
09-09-2010, 04:55 PM
Your synopsis is how I felt about New Comiskey in the pre renovation days. There is a difference between sterile and ugly. I never thought the park was ugly, I just felt that it was bland and had some design flaws. Many of these flaws have since been fixed. The HHH Metrodome, Riverfront, Olympic Stadium, Dolphins Stadium...now those are ugly baseball parks.

To me, it was just something to take shots at the Sox in the late 90s when they were down. Just look at the complaints on this board in April and May. When a team is down, it's just the cool thing to find anything and everything to rip on them. The ballpark pre-renovations was very meh, but it was hardly the worst thing in the world. Old Solider Field was a much worse stadium, and people have already mentioned other ball parks that were much worse.. No one seemed to care when it first opened. Of course, the teams were reguarlly contending in the first few years it opened.

billcissell
09-10-2010, 01:34 PM
Way back in the day, Friendly Bob Adams worked for General Finance, which I believe was later gobbled up by HFC.

Household had troubles of their own around 2002-03. They were slapped with a $300 million dollar plus fine for predatory lending practices.

The Household name, or HFC, name has gone by the wayside. They were gobbled up by British company HSBC a few years back.

I wonder what would happen if US Cellular got gobbled up by AT&T or Verizon?