Like City, Like Stadium

Beloved as it is, Dodger Stadium did not come easily to Los Angeles. Its development was fraught with protests, political rivalries, and debates over public investment and urbanism. Those debates continue today.

1 minute read

July 24, 2017, 7:00 AM PDT

By Josh Stephens @jrstephens310

Los Angeles, California

trekandshoot / Shutterstock

"The all-time championship of uncertainty, politicking, and contentiousness surrounding a Los Angeles sports team goes to none other than the Dodgers. In City of Dreams, Jerald Podair, professor of history at Lawrence University, reveals that the most stalwart and, arguably, beloved L.A. franchise did not descend upon Chavez Ravine like a pop fly hit from Heaven. It is an encyclopedic, if not always engrossing, account."

"Podair calls their creation 'the nation’s first truly modern ballpark,' but he uses modern only superficially: 'the stadium’s look, operation, and culture were distinctively modern. Its lines were sleek and symmetrical.' Though Podair does not claim to be an architectural historian, he misses some crucial points by ignoring the ideology of Modernism and its historical context. This oversight elides the fact that Dodger Stadium is a prime example of auto-centric, space age design that, arguably, represents the worst of 20th century American urbanism. 

"Dodger Stadium is, in many ways, a microcosm of Los Angeles. Modern and ambitious, but also neither fish nor fowl, neither urban nor suburban."



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