Friday, February 8, 2013

A Ground Breaking - Remembering Busch II 8 Years Later

Busch II Demo
Ground will finally be broken today for the long awaited Ballpark Village across Clark Street from Busch Stadium. this view of the remaining half of Busch Stadium II was taken in late 2005 as construction progressed on the current stadium.

For much of the last 8 years the site has looked like this, with a large surface lot on the east and a fenced softball field taking up a a bit less than the west half. The new Ballpark village has been pared down from several previous proposals, which may be a good thing.  Once the infrastructure is in place dividing the large site into smaller blocks one can hope that future development might occur organically with several different mixed use buildings that might include office space, residential, etc. on upper floors and a mix of commercial uses on the ground floor that doesn't simply rely on a recipe of more chain bars that populate Cordish developments.

Busch II from Gen Am Bldg
I am not one of the people that pines for the old stadium, as it is hard to beat the view of the arch and skyline beyond the game while seated in the present Busch Stadium. There are some things I miss about the old place though including the fact that it was nearly impossible to get lost and getting to your seat or to the hotdog and beer stand was a much more orderly and direct task that also happened to include more views of the city around you. The simplicity of the form of Busch II and of course the graceful ring of parabolic arches will also be missed, but the complete lack of street presence that is the result of a round form on a large square city block will not.

Busch II at night


Jeannette E. Spaghetti said...

Hi Paul,
I have a few photos you might be interested in of Old Busch half deconstructed and New Busch half constructed (at the same time). I took them from an upper floor of the Thomas Eagleton Building on 23 November 2005.

Josh the Intern said...

I agree and like that they are doing ballpark village in portions. My one regret was that they didn't make use of someone's proposal to take segments of the Busch II Crown and place them in Forest Park, the New Park, and elsewhere around St. Louis.