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View Full Version : Trib's architect reviews the Cell's UD


hose
11-28-2003, 08:33 AM
http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/chi-0311280008nov28,1,5564819.story?coll=chi-leisuretempo-hed

Nothing we haven't talked about here at WSI , a matter of fact I think our posts brought up more info then the pro. :D:


Revenge of the Old Comiskey

By Blair Kamin
Tribune architecture critic
Published November 28, 2003

....It is perhaps unprecedented for a stadium this young to undergo a makeover this dramatic. In a sense, given the traditional look of the changes, it's as if old Comiskey was having its revenge on the new stadium that led to its demolition....

hsnterprize
11-28-2003, 09:07 AM
Well, we can take this review for whatever it's worth. I think there are some positives and negatives in this piece, but I think the overall attitude of the writer is that this ballpark is improving...and that's an obviously good thing. Rare praise for the Cell from the Trib.

"It won't quite be Wrigley Field when it makes its debut next Opening Day..."

Hmmm...I guess I was expecting the Trib so say something like that. They're always comparing whatever ballparks they talk about to Wrigley. We all know that, but what would happen if Wrigley weren't up? Go figure.

PaleHoseGeorge
11-28-2003, 09:54 AM
Thanks for posting the link. I just finished reading it myself from my print edition. It is a very good article, and I agree many more points have been raised here than what Kamin includes. However we're not allowed to post entire articles. You know we have quite a few Cubune employees lurking around here!

:smile:

TornLabrum
11-28-2003, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by hsnterprize
Well, we can take this review for whatever it's worth. I think there are some positives and negatives in this piece, but I think the overall attitude of the writer is that this ballpark is improving...and that's an obviously good thing. Rare praise for the Cell from the Trib.

"It won't quite be Wrigley Field when it makes its debut next Opening Day..."

Hmmm...I guess I was expecting the Trib so say something like that. They're always comparing whatever ballparks they talk about to Wrigley. We all know that, but what would happen if Wrigley weren't up? Go figure.



I wonder how many obstructed view seats there are at The Shrine....Funny how the 300 were mentioned at The Cell but no comparison to Wrigley on that little detail.

DrCrawdad
11-28-2003, 11:32 AM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
I wonder how many obstructed view seats there are at The Shrine....Funny how the 300 were mentioned at The Cell but no comparison to Wrigley on that little detail.

Ah, but the even the obstructions are a thing of beauty at The Shrine.

Medford Bobby
11-28-2003, 11:49 AM
This all goes back to two things..............The Sunshine Boys absolutely hated Old Comiskey Park. Always felt it was a big dump and a waste to invest in. And once they had the money to fund a new ballpark, they wanted the quickest design to be built in two years, and and if at all possible nothing design wise that looked like Old Comiskey Park. They gave in on the old arches on the outside windows. THe rest is rock and roll history!!!!!!



:reinsy "You want the feel of Old Comiskey, then just wait til we close up half the bathrooms and you'll have to pee in a sink on Opening Day"

xil357
11-28-2003, 12:11 PM
Now wait just a dang minute.

None of this will change the fundamental shape (and thus, the fundamental problem) of U.S. Cellular -- a seating bowl that steps outward as it rises, placing upper-deck fans far from the action.

That is perhaps the most asinine statement I ever have heard!

What, Blair Kamin, is an upper deck supposed to do? Is it supposed to step inward as it rises? Is it supposed to sink instead of rise?

Because I am so irriated at this, here is the text of the e-mail letter to the editor I am sending to publiceditor@tribune.com. Use and change up at will:

Dear Editor,

As a fan of the Chicago White Sox and a member of the media, I take great exception to several of Tribune Architecture Critic Blair Kamin's statements in his Nov. 28, 2003 review of the renovations to the upper deck at U.S. Cellular Field.

First, the Kamin writes, "It won't quite be Wrigley Field when it makes its debut next Opening Day." As a critic who draws his paycheck from the same corporate conglomerate that owns Wrigley Field and The Chicago Cubs, it would be in keeping with the Canons of Journalism for Mr. Kamin (or his editor) to insert a statement acknowledging the manifest his pro-Cubs and pro-Wrigley Field bias. Later in the article, Kamin states that the roof's support pillars will obstruct the views of some seats in U.S. Cellular Field. Conveniently, Mr. Kamin deliberately neglects to report that the number of obstructed view seats still will be much smaller than the number of obstructed view seats in Wrigley Field.

If Mr. Kamin is going to use a comparison to Wrigley Field in the fourth paragraph of the article so as to once again demonstrate how Wrigley is some sort of baseball Mecca, it would be expected, in the interest of attempting to demonstrate a sense of fairness, that Mr. Kamin would point out that Wrigley has many more obstructed seats than even the renovated U.S. Cellular will have.

And if U.S. Cellular is to be reviewed in context with Wrigley, it would only be fair for Mr. Kamin to point out that the Cell has more abundant and more accessible restrooms (especially for women), has wider concourses and more comfortable seats and is located in a neighborhood that has a lower per-capita crime rate, according to the City of Chicago, than Wrigley Field.

Second, Kamin writes "None of this will change the fundamental shape (and thus, the fundamental problem) of U.S. Cellular -- a seating bowl that steps outward as it rises, placing upper-deck fans far from the action."

How would Mr. Kamin prefer that an upper deck be built or renovated? Step inward as it rises? Sink instead of rise as it steps outward? How could an upper deck not step outward as it rises and maintain a 35-degree (or less) angle and still result in most of the seats NOT having obstructed views?

As a White Sox fan, I and my cohorts regularly criticize both the White Sox and the stadium in which they play. We don't object to criticisms of it by others, either. But what we do object to is the Tribune's relentless negative reporting of anything and everything related to the White Sox at the same time that anything Cubs and anything Wrigley is venerated or worshiped.

Of course, there are but two explanations for this blatant double standard that simultaneously promotes Tribune-owned divisions and criticizes anything related to the White Sox: ignorance and incompetence on the part of your editors and staff or deliberate greed on the part of corporate managers to slowly or surely work to destroy the image and financial viability of a direct competitor for fans' money. I think it is a combination of both.

I invite you to reply to my criticisms and allegations but I doubt you will.

Meanwhile, I continue my boycott of any company that advertises in the Tribune (or with any of your corporate siblings) and I tell them that I refuse to do business with them because they advertise with you. I also encourage all of my friends and family to do the same. Furthermore, I help myself to content from your web site by deliberately using false information to register, and specifically register myself in such a way so as to skew your reader demographics to the most undesirable levels as possible. (I underestimate my income and I report my residence as being in the most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.)

hsnterprize
11-28-2003, 12:50 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
I wonder how many obstructed view seats there are at The Shrine....Funny how the 300 were mentioned at The Cell but no comparison to Wrigley on that little detail. Well, Hal, I guess it all comes down to one simple statement that I've yet to see anyone with the Trib have the decency to write...

"U.S. Cellular Field is crap, and Wrigley Field is the greatest ballpark in baseball."

I'm sure some author has written something within that context before, and we've caught him/her on it. However, at least they'll have enough sense and honesty to reveal where they're coming from. So much for "objective journalism."

Johnny Mostil
11-28-2003, 08:19 PM
Originally posted by xil357


What, Blair Kamin, is an upper deck supposed to do? Is it supposed to step inward as it rises? Is it supposed to sink instead of rise?



Maybe I'm missing something here (and, alas, it would be neither the first nor last time), but I think Kamin's point is that there's no overhang of the upper deck above the lower, as there was at Old Comiskey, and, IIRC, at Wrigley and several other stadia. Without the overhang, the front row of the upper deck is further away from the edge of the field than it would be otherwise. Of course, I suppose such an overhang could cause problems (e.g., blocking views--of high fly balls, if nothing else--of fans in the back of the lower deck) that the Cel doesn't have.

DrCrawdad
11-28-2003, 08:32 PM
The planned renovation of the notorious upper deck at U.S. Cellular Field is at once a welcome change that should improve the experience of fans and an astonishing admission of failure, coming just 12 years after the Cell, then known as New Comiskey Park, was introduced as a state-of-the art stadium.


Since the insightful critic brought up Wrigley, it should be pointed out to him that virtually everything that Wrigley fans love about The Shrine were added many years after The Shrine was built. The scoreboard and weeds on the walls were added more than 12 years after The Shrine was built. So were those alterations to The Shrine an admission of failure?

Mr. Cubune Critic how many obstructed seats are there at the Shrine? Also, Mr. Cridick are you aware that The Shrine is a cheap knock-off of Old Comiskey?

http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~KP7S-OOTK/TOPICS/HISTORY/Weeghman.jpg
The beautiful Shrine.

PaleHoseGeorge
11-28-2003, 08:32 PM
Originally posted by Johnny Mostil
Maybe I'm missing something here (and, alas, it would be neither the first nor last time), but I think Kamin's point is that there's no overhang of the upper deck above the lower, as there was at Old Comiskey, and, IIRC, at Wrigley and several other stadia. Without the overhang, the front row of the upper deck is further away from the edge of the field than it would be otherwise. Of course, I suppose such an overhang could cause problems (e.g., blocking views--of high fly balls, if nothing else--of fans in the back of the lower deck) that the Cel doesn't have.

I believe you're right. I've heard this called "terraced seating" with each higher deck stepped back from the one beneath it. Old Comiskey and the Urinal did not/do not have terraced decks and that is why so many seats had/have obstructed views from all the posts.

As Torn pointed out, Kamin noted how 300 seats at the Cell will now have obstructed views. However he never once mentions that the Urinal has far more obstructed view seats than that but never criticizes the Urinal for *not* being terraced.

Kamin is having his cake and eating it, too. The Urinal is great because it is not terraced, and the Cell sucks because it has obstructed views. Just another example of the unbiased reporting we've come to expect from the Cubune.

hose
11-28-2003, 09:03 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Thanks for posting the link. I just finished reading it myself from my print edition. It is a very good article, and I agree many more points have been raised here than what Kamin includes. However we're not allowed to post entire articles. You know we have quite a few Cubune employees lurking around here!

:smile:


Had a brain cramp on that one PHG, wont let it happen again.

Medford Bobby
11-28-2003, 11:44 PM
Yes as much as we :angry: disdain The Shrine...It was the creation of of Zachary Taylor Davis after he designed Old Comiskey. The Cups bought out the abandon park after The Federal League folded. It's a shame Old Comiskey is not creeping in on it's first century of service and Weeghman Park will most likely make it to 100. At least we may see bits of ZTD designs in the renovated Cell......................


:reinsy "Just wait for the 2005 whitewash of the outside of the park.................!"