Photo Gallery: Celebrating a Quarter Century of Camden Yards
Most reunions focus on the good ol’ times, not the time that has passed, but that won’t be the case this weekend in Baltimore. The makers of Oriole Park at Camden Yards will gather and celebrate the influential ballpark’s 25 years of memories made since opening in 1992.
Populous architects and founders Joe Spear and Ben Barnert (right) led the overall vision of Camden Yards 25 years ago. Sadly, Ben passed away in 2013 after a courageous battle with brain cancer but he left a legacy of lasting relationships and projects including not only Camden Yards but Heinz Field, PETCO Park and Sprint Center, to name a few.
The Maryland Stadium Authority and Baltimore Orioles challenged Populous to create a traditional venue tailored for baseball and weave it into the urban fabric of the city. What feels natural today was anything but in the early 90s. Since the late 70s, most American baseball fans had been stuck with multi-purpose stadiums typically located in massive asphalt parking fields.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards embraces the city of Baltimore, a fact illustrated by the historic brick B&O warehouse located beyond right field. The structure traces its roots back to the 19th century and was threatened with demolition in the 1980s. Populous designers chose to incorporate it as an integral part of the ballpark in part because of its unique dimensions; it’s approximately 120 feet tall but only 50 feet wide and “as long as a train.”
The site was selected in order to maximize economic development and minimize infrastructure costs. According to the Maryland Stadium Authority, the ballpark accounts for approximately $170 million in economic activity each year.
Eutaw Street sits between the warehouse and Camden Yards. When a ballgame isn’t in session, it functions as a public plaza bringing the city and ballpark together. It’s one example of how ballparks like Baltimore’s have helped turn American downtowns into entertainment destinations.
“Building Camden Yards was one of the most important things that happened to baseball in the last 20 to 25 years,” former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said. “It changed the whole dynamic … and allowed us to finally market our sport to its potential.”
With 25 years of moments now on the scorecard, Oriole Park at Camden Yards’ legacy continues to be felt both in Baltimore and across the country.