Tim Hoiland's Reviews > City Baseball Magic--Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks

City Baseball Magic--Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Citi... by Philip Bess
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it was amazing
bookshelves: sports, 2016

Since the 1989 publication of City Baseball Magic, a wonderful essay by architect, urban planner, and baseball fan Philip Bess, twenty-three (23!) new major-league ballparks have opened. In these pages Bess extols the virtues of ballparks designed for the flourishing of actual cities and neighborhoods – unlike the prevailing model then (and to a distressing extent in some cases, still) of plopping down a massive stadium on a cheap suburban plot amidst an endless sea of parking.

Gone, graciously, are the days of perfectly circular, perfectly awful multi-purpose stadiums. Gone too, with a couple of lamentable exceptions, is artificial turf. So I'm confident Bess would say we've made progress. But among the newer ballparks there's quite an aesthetic range, to say nothing of economic and neighborhood considerations. Starting with Camden Yards in 1992 (stunning), all the way up through Marlins Park in 2012 (yikes), the ballpark renaissance has certainly been a mixed bag.

I'd love to sit down with Philip Bess and pick his brain. Until then, I'll keep ruminating on the "uncommon" insights in City Baseball Magic.
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Reading Progress

March 1, 2016 – Started Reading
March 1, 2016 – Shelved
March 1, 2016 – Shelved as: sports
March 3, 2016 – Finished Reading
January 15, 2021 – Shelved as: 2016

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