One interesting renovation we’re keeping an eye on is the historic Hamtramck Stadium, one of the only Negro League baseball stadiums still standing. We checked in with Gary Gillette, founder and president of Friends for Historic Hamtramck Stadium, to see what’s underway.
The last time we posted an update, an RFP had been released by the City of Hamtramck for pre-development work. Smith Group JJR is currently undergoing structural assessment and developing a study and plan for the group. Friends for Historic Hamtramck Stadium hopes to have that report by May, and at that point, they’ll have a better idea of how much funding they’ll need for the renovations. Gillette says they’ll be seeking foundation support, as well as crafting a social media campaign for community support.
Gillette says they’ve been working with both the City of Hamtramck and the school district in order to develop the best use for the park. Since cricket and soccer are so popular in the diverse city, some of the field will be put to use for those sports, as well as baseball and softball.
They’re currently seeking feedback on the conceptual design, which includes the various fields of play, plus rehabbed and new areas of the field.
Gillette says that historically, the field has been used for a variety of sports, including baseball, football, and boxing. They’d like to see it renovated and in use in 2019, but that’s going to be dependent on the funding coming in.
Hamtramck Stadium, built in 1930, is one of five Negro League ball parks still standing. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012, and in early 2017, it received a $50,000 grant from the National Park Service African American Civil Rights Program. More information on the stadium, its history, and preservation efforts can be found here.