On its 100th Opening Day, Remembering Fenway Park's Near Death

Anthony Flint reflects on the story of economic development and historic preservation that led to the saving of Boston's historic Fenway Park from demolition in the 1990s.
April 13, 2012, 11am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Flint discusses the confluence of factors (aging infrastructure, need for more seats and revenue) leading to calls for the historic treasure's demolition, various plans for replacements, and the heroic effort to save the ballpark.

"Today Fenway Park has the Monster Seats and hand-crafted ales and delicious clam chowder, expanded and more comfortable seating all around, the ubiquitous luxury boxes uniquely close to the action. Watching a game at Fenway Park is an experience unlike any other."

However, there's a downside to this treasured experience, its "increasingly out of reach for middle-class families."

"It's hard to say how much the cost of all the renovations and improvements at a 100-year-old facility factors into this – the major cost being the payroll for the players – and harder still to imagine that a brand new ballpark wouldn't trigger this same kind of impact on fans. But historic preservation is always costly."

For most Bostonians, I'm guessing, the price to preserve this unique historical experience is plenty worth it.

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Published on Friday, April 13, 2012 in The Atlantic Cities
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