The Ballpark Eras
The 1860s-1900s: Lumber and Crossed Fingers
From open pastoral settings to medieval frameworks, the 19th-Century ballpark endures through a fragile evolution as the use of wood led to multiple hazards, most occasionally that of fire.
The 1910s-1920s: Steel and Concrete
Baseball’s modern era comes of age with the help of the sport’s first ballpark boom, as sturdy, cutting-edge palaces show off grace and confidence to mirror the game’s growth.
The 1930s-1950s: Dormancy
Depression and war embolden the general attitude of most major league teams to contentedly sit it out at their existing ballparks, which undergo expansion and are outfitted with lights.
The 1960s-1980s: The Cookie Cutter Monsters
Multi-purpose stadiums become the rage as a line of enclosed facilities adaptable to disparate events welcome in baseball teams fleeing decaying ballparks and inner cities.
The 1990s-2010s: Coming Home
Oriole Park at Camden Yards opens the door for a new wave of ballpark construction as teams return to their roots and embrace yesteryear with a clever eye toward massive revenues.
The Future: The Shape of Ballparks to Come
Now that the retro ballpark boom has run its course, what do major league teams and architects have in mind for the next era of new facilities? Here’s a few hints of what might be ahead.