Friday, December 31, 2004

Renovating War Memorial Stadium: What's Important?

I got what I wished for in an earlier post: I'm going to be a member of the group picking the designers who will renovate War Memorial Stadium. The group will be made up of a variety of stakeholders in the stadium's future: people from surrounding neighborhoods, the VFW post, NCA&T, Greensboro College, and city staff.

I'ts already been decided that the main use of the stadium will be amateur baseball. Given that, what do you think are the priorities that should guide the selection of architects? Here are some issues to think about:

Historic preservation. Is it essential to retain all historic features of the stadium, including seating for 5,000+? Are some features more important to preserve than others? Which ones?

Modernization. How important is it that the stadium be a fully up-to-date facility that can attract college and youth baseball tournaments? Is this more or less important that preservation?

Appearance & relation to environment. The stadium currently sits in a sea of asphalt and gravel. How important is improving the landscaping?

Parking. Should the existing parking areas be reduced, since overall attendance at the stadium will go way down? There is a lot of on-street parking in the area. Is this a preferred option?

Please write to me at, or post a comment and let me know what you think. It will be really helpful to me as we go about selecting the right firm, and the right proposal, for this project.


Anonymous said...


I don't have a stake as much as those who live in the neighborhood, those who will be using the stadium for sports or those whose relatives the stadium memorializes. So, I offer my two cents only as a citizen at-large.

Historic Preservation: I think this is important, but it strikes me that the most architecturally significant part of the stadium is the facade. Updating the seating doesn't have to jeopardize the "feel" of the stadium if it's done in harmony with the facade.

Modernization: If the stadium is not updated to standards necessary to accommodate baseball tournaments, then the whole thing is in jeopardy of failing. "Preserving" the bathrooms and locker rooms at the expense of making the stadium useful would be counter productive, IMHO.

Appearance & relation to environment. Important? Yes. Crucial? No. But some landscaping would be very nice.

Parking. I'll leave that to those who can better predict the demand, but don't sacrifice beautification or preservation just so you can pack as many cars as close as possible. Walking a block or two won't deter visitors, especially if the facility is worth it.

- Roch

Anonymous said...

1) Stabilize and PRESERVE all sides of the facade of WMS, which is unique, stands proud, and is ever so much more interesting than the new "could be anywhere in the U.S." stadium.
2) Landscape significantly all around the facility, to help "cool" and "clean" the surrounding area for those attending games/events during our hot summers. A green landscape encourages comfortable walking to/from and spectating nearby.
3) Insure that minor, less active sports are accommodated on the grounds(like bocce ball, lawn bowling, croquet) to encourage local older citizens to meet, form teams, and socialize, in a comfortable setting.
4) Don't expend too much WMS sport-related funds on baseball, which has limited appeal and very limited participation for the average citizen. Encourage several small space lawn sports through which average persons can play and socialize.

Thanks for working FOR WMS!

Renovating said...

Such historic places like war memorial should be renovated. They will give an antique look after that.