One of the historic baseball fields in the Detroit area will be rehabilitated. Hamtramck Stadium, once home to the Negro League team the Detroit Stars, just received a $50,000 grant from the National Park Service African American Civil Rights Program. The stadium was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 31, 2012 and a Michigan Historic Marker was installed in 2014.
According to the Hamtramck Stadium site, “It was the home field of the Negro National League Detroit Stars in 1930-1931 and in 1933. The Stadium was also home to the Detroit Wolves of the short-lived Negro East-West League in 1932 and to the Negro American League Detroit Stars in 1937.” It’s one of few remaining Negro League-era baseball stadiums in the country. The city of Hamtramck acquired the stadium in 1940. The grandstand hasn’t been used since the 90s, but is still in decent shape.
Melanie Markowicz, City Planner for Hamtramck, led the grant application. The city hopes that in the long-term, the site will be a multi-use community space. Specifically, “These uses will include a full range of sporting and community events including recreational and youth league organized sporting, pickup games, concerts, events, movie screenings, and interpretive exhibition ballgames which explore the heritage of the site.”
The $50,000 grant will be used to assess the current structure, estimate construction costs, architectural plans, and specifications. Pre-development work should start this spring.
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The Navin Field Grounds Crew, who helped bring the old Tiger Stadium/Navin Field back to life through tireless volunteer work, has also shown interest in helping with the restoration of Hamtramck Stadium.
The NPS Civil Rights Grant Program is a newly funded program through the Historic Preservation Fund. The Hamtramck Stadium project is one of 39 projects funded nationwide, and one of two funded in the Detroit area.