It’s all over the Chicago media that the Cubs announced major renovation and restoration plans for Wrigley Field.
The announcement came during yesterday’s Cubs Convention at the Sheraton in Chicago. The Cubs are calling the upgrade a “restoration” as much as a “renovation” because they are restoring some of the older, often elegant elements of the ballpark that have long since been replaced by unfortunate quick fixes, like the chain link fence that currently wraps a good portion of the ballpark along Addison and Clark. The fencing will be replaced by wrought iron grill work and railings. Take a look at the second and third stories of the facade to the left of the windows in the zoomed-in image below.
That’s how the ballpark looked decades ago! A major throwback improvement! Look to the right of the trees in the photo below, taken around 1930 …
The same wrought iron design with the upper concourse behind the seats open with iron railings! Nice. Compare that to what it looks like today:
Not so nice. The cheap chain link fencing and hideous concrete panels will be gone! Yay! This is especially nice for people like Admin and Wife of Admin who pass the ballpark almost every day. We’re all for it looking nicer, and more like the historic ballpark that it is.
What’s going to happen to the inside of the park? I don’t think the changes sacrifice the basic Wrigley Field look at all. The ballpark has evolved constantly over the years. Here’s what it looked like just after it opened as Weeghman Park in 1914 (the Cubs moved there from the West Side in 1916) …
Take a look at 20 renderings of the plan at BleedCubbieBlue.com (click here) supplied to them by the Cubs. Ironically, as of this morning the Cubs’ own website had only 6 images posted, so don’t bother going there. All in all it looks pretty good to me, although they might be planning for too many restaurants and concession stands. If everyone sits around in all those eateries inside the ballpark, many of them looking out onto the streets, who’s going to be left in the seats to watch the games?
Now if they would just get rid of that ugly Toyota sign. Doesn’t fit into the new plans visually. Never fit into the ballpark in the first place.
AND … does this mean they’re going to stop hanging those atrocious player-photograph-banners around the marquee at the beginning of the season?? We can only hope.