Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Norman Bel Geddes Database

Job 466, Suspended Roof Stadium, 1943-1956

Summary: Designed between 1948 and 1952, 20 years before Houston’s Astrodome, this completely covered stadium, equipped with a roof that could slide open if weather allowed, was to be the new home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Designed to be the ideal baseball park, but never built, the stadium could be converted for use as a football field or even flooded for boating events.

For baseball games seating capacity was planned at 55,000 but could be expanded to 90,000 for conventions or boxing matches by means of movable bleachers. The home run range was a constant 380 feet. No columns would obstruct vision. Twenty-one gates around the stadium would allow spectators to enter directly above or below their seats after passing through a standardized ticket control unit, and synthetic grass (the precursor to Astro Turf™) was considered for the playing field.

Bel Geddes also attacked the problems of traffic congestion that occur before and after major sporting events. His design used less acreage than conventional stadiums while providing parking and easy access by means of bus or subway. To maximize use of the structure, Geddes included plans for a shopping center and a children’s playground to be built into the stadium below street level.

The estimated cost of the stadium was $6 million or approximately $51 million in 2012 dollars.

See also Brooklyn Dodgers Stadium (job 577).

Box/Location Folder Description
box 31 466.1 Advisory Board to the Research and Development Branch of the Office of the Quartermaster General --- NBG's membership correspondence, memo 1943.
oversize box 9 466.1 Suspended Roof Stadium --- Long Island - 7 Photostats of drawings 1949 (originals in 577).
oversize box 9 466.2 Suspended Roof Stadium --- Municiple Outdoor Amphitheatre, Pittsburgh - Clipping 1949.
oversize box 9 466.3 Suspended Roof Stadium --- Raleigh, N.C. Livestock Pavillion - Clipping 1952.
box 31 466.2 Bridges --- D.B. Steinman Engineering Co.'s Literature.
oversize box 9 466.4 Bridges --- D.B. Steinman Literature on Bridges.
damaged flat box 12 466.1 Suspended Roof Stadium --- Yankee Stadium - 6 Blueprints of 2 sketches 1956.
damaged box 12 466.1 Correspondence, clippings 1955-1956.

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