Take Me Out to a Cool Stadium

D.C. searches for the right architect to design the city's new ballpark.
February 7, 2005, 5am PST | Peter Buryk
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Now that the dust has settled around financing of the new Washington Nationals' baseball stadium, the next step will be to choose from over 35 firms that have expressed interest in building it. Team and city officials want bold ideas. "We do not want to see just another baseball stadium," said Allen Y. Lew, chief executive of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission. "We want signature architecture. We're not looking to just mimic other cities." Nearby Camden Yards, home to the Baltimore Orioles, is an exampe of what Lew does not want in Washington. The stadium is a "retro ballpark", criticized by some as overdone and cliche. Many of the proposed stadium designs feature fewer suites and box seats, opting for more concourses and picnic areas. Earl Santee, a lead designer for HOK Sport of Kansas City, says that this design paradigm creates a "main street, where everyone comes together." Above all else, D.C. officials want a stadium that is unique and easily identifiable. "The new park should be seen as a building where if you see it on a postcard, it doesn't have to say D.C. or Nationals," Lane Welter of HNTB Architecture said. "You just know it's D.C."

Thanks to Peter Buryk

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Published on Sunday, February 6, 2005 in The Washington Post
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