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Friday, August 23, 2019

Should We Always Deride the Concrete Donut?

Engaging in nostalgic practices for the concrete donut, of course, is to engage in the same sort of practices that eventually gave rise to the neo-retro park, of which many—Pittsburgh’s PNC Park, San Francisco’s Oracle Park and certainly, Camden, for starters—remain magisterial. And of the extant midcentury ballparks, the Emil Praeger-designed Dodger Stadium, always considered a tier or two above the stadiums of the time, is endlessly lauded—and nightly packed. Across the freeway in Anaheim, over 37,000 show up nightly to see the always-maybe-next-year-in-Los-Angeles Angels.

Casting blame or praise solely on design typologies limits and lessens the agency of those responsible for shaping—and challenging—the ways in which our collective spaces are used. Baseball is a living game. Like its styles of play, notions about where and how it should be played will shift. This is important to pay attention to because in the cyclical nature of popular culture, the concrete donut era of Modernism and its cousin, Brutalism, is having a moment.

We’re at a point in history where many Modernist buildings are approaching their 50th and 60th birthdays, gracefully aging into the time when, where it’s warranted, historic preservation status applies. Mad Men still casts a cool of midcentury modern over the culture. The same sort of motivated individuals who felt that traditional cityscapes of lore were under threat by Modernism in the 1960s are the same sort of folk who may view the vulnerability of Modernist landmarks defensively. In short, Modernism is being charged with the energy that it was initially fought against, and the idea of the concrete donut—if it can be incorporated into the urban fabric more seamlessly—may come into vogue once more.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 23, 2019 at 05:40 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: stadiums

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   1. Cblau Posted: August 24, 2019 at 08:52 PM (#5874181)
Well, they are hard to eat. I broke a tooth last time I bit into one.
   2. Bote Man Posted: August 24, 2019 at 10:58 PM (#5874239)
Yes.

In 2005 the new Nationals (perhaps under orders) praised RFK Stadium.

In 2008 when Nationals Park opened I recall Ryan Zimmerman very directly saying something about "happy to be getting out of that tank", meaning RFK.

Fans will always have wistful memories, but the new idea of a baseball park strictly for baseball that got its big impetus from Oriole Park has won over a generation.
   3. Itchy Row Posted: August 24, 2019 at 11:13 PM (#5874244)
There’s nothing better than catching a day game at Dodger Stadium and then walking across the freeway to Anaheim for an Angels game.
   4. Brian C Posted: August 24, 2019 at 11:26 PM (#5874247)
This is important to pay attention to because in the cyclical nature of popular culture, the concrete donut era of Modernism and its cousin, Brutalism, is having a moment.

I dunno. Are concrete donuts "having a moment?" This seems like a dubious assertion. It seems more like the writer of this article is talking about nostalgia in a passive voice when what he really means is "I feel nostalgia for concrete donuts."
   5. Bote Man Posted: August 24, 2019 at 11:41 PM (#5874249)
The passive voice is often used to escape responsibility. See also: politicians, ex. "Mistakes were made."
   6. QLE Posted: August 24, 2019 at 11:56 PM (#5874252)
I dunno. Are concrete donuts "having a moment?" This seems like a dubious assertion. It seems more like the writer of this article is talking about nostalgia in a passive voice when what he really means is "I feel nostalgia for concrete donuts."


There's a complication present- on the one hand, I know of quite a few people who have loves of various forms of architectural Modernism of the 1950s (for instance, the type found in so much commercial and residential architecture in 1950s and 1960s Southern California has quite a few fans), and even some folk who seem to like Brutalism (largely in the academy), but none of these folk, at least in my earshot, have ever had anything to say about the concrete ashtray version of stadium architecture.
   7. Sunday silence Posted: August 25, 2019 at 03:28 AM (#5874264)
the whole article reads like dogshi,t.

the always-maybe-next-year-in-Los-Angeles Angels.


what the #### does that even mean?

And what about Astroturf? Is that coming back too? Do you long for the days of Astroturf? Is that "a more vibrant cultural space?"

Jeezus what a piece of ####
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: August 25, 2019 at 08:55 AM (#5874267)
Do you long for the days of Astroturf?


I do. Not from an aesthetic perspective, of course. But from a baseball one.
   9. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 25, 2019 at 09:16 AM (#5874269)
Brutalism is having its moment, but... There were vast numbers of buildings thrown up in the US during the Modernist-to-Brutalist era, what with the postwar economy and the Baby Boom and all that. And let's just say that the vast majority of those buildings weren't built by Mies Van Der Rohe. IOW, just because some buildings from an architectural era are worthy of reconsideration, it doesn't mean that all (or most or even many) of them are.
   10. AndrewJ Posted: August 25, 2019 at 09:40 AM (#5874270)
<i>And what about Astroturf? Is that coming back too?<>

It is in Phoenix. And the new ballpark in Arlington will have artificial turf.
   11. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 25, 2019 at 09:46 AM (#5874273)
Should We Always Deride the Concrete Donut?


Not me. I always liked Cecil Fielder.
   12. Gazizza, my Dilznoofuses! Posted: August 25, 2019 at 08:49 PM (#5874349)
I do. Not from an aesthetic perspective, of course. But from a baseball one.


I forget where I read it, but my attitude (and apparently yours) is summed up by: "I don't like Astroturf, but I like the game it creates."

I like doubles to the gap, triples to the corner, stolen bases, hit and runs, sacrifice bunts. I know many of those are not the strategic correct move, but they're fun. Baseball just isn't as fun any more.
   13. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 26, 2019 at 09:14 AM (#5874386)
Bill James: "I have nothing good to say about artificial turf. But the baseball of the 1970s, which was derived in part from the artificial turf that was then so popular, was a wonderful brand of baseball."
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: August 26, 2019 at 09:44 AM (#5874395)
Donut already means something in baseball. This ain't it.

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