Structure Type: built works - recreation areas and structures - stadiums

Designers: Davis, Zachary Taylor (firm); Zachary Taylor Davis (architect); Charles Ormrod Matcham Sr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1925-1925, demolished 1969

42nd Place and Avalon Boulevard
Watts, Los Angeles, CA 90011

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Located in South-Central Los Angeles on a site bounded by 42nd Place and Avalon Boulevard, 41st Place and San Pedro Street;

Washington State Route 303
Bremerton, WA

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Chewing gum millionaire William K. Wrigley, Jr.'s (1861-1932) Los Angeles Angels (also known as the Seraphs) of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) played at Wrigley Field; constructed between 02-09/1925, the $1.1 million stadium hosted its first Angels game on 09/29/1925; the first night game was played here between the Los Angeles Angels and the Sacramento Senators on 04/16/1932; night baseball was begun to attract larger crowds which had waned in the early years of the Depression. In total, the Angels played here from 1925-1957. The Hollywood Stars, also of the PCL, used Wrigley Field when the Angels were on the road between 1926-1935 and 1938; the stadium seated approximately 22,000, a large number compared to other minor league baseball stadiums of the time; (it shrank over time, seating only 20,457 in 1961); football was also played at the venue; the first Pro Bowl staged by the National Football League was held at Wrigley Field, 01/15/1939. Promoters also staged boxing and wrestling matches at Wrigley Field until around 1960. The Wrigley family sold the Los Angeles Angels and Wrigley Field to Walter O'Malley, owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, for $3,000,000 in 1957; this paved the way for him to move the Dodgers west; O'Malley chose not to use the field for the Dodgers, and instead built Dodgers Stadium in Chavez Ravine, near downtown; (legend has it that O'Malley did not want to use the facility after he heard that a bordello operated across the street); in 1961, the expansion California Angels of the American League played at Wrigley Field, before they moved to Dodger Stadium, where they played from 1962-1965. Their last game here was 10/01/1961. The architect of the Los Angeles Wrigley Field, Chicago architect Zachary Taylor Davis (1872-1946), a one-time draftsman for Louis Sullivan (1856-1924), designed Chicago's two major stadia, Comiskey Park (1908) and Weeghman Park (later Wrigley Field, 1914). With his extensive background in large-scale baseball park design in Chicago, Davis was William Wrigley's logical choice to create the finest minor league ballpark. Chicago architects and engineers helped to pioneer steel frame construction; Purdy and Henderson, for example, an engineering firm originally located there, advanced techniques of steel framing in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. (Purdy and Henderson initially became expert in steel bridge construction, before turning their attention to skyscraper design.) Educated and trained in Chicago, Davis would have absorbed new steel frame building techniques and he employed them with great success in his early ballparks. In the 1920s, most minor league facilities accommodated relatively small crowds and could be erected inexpensively using wood framing. Wrigley had a more ambitious vision for his Los Angeles facility. Compared with wood, steel framing could enable greater free spans (allowing for fewer supporting posts) and cantilevered deck designs, improving sight lines throughout a baseball park. Wrigley Field in Los Angeles followed in this Chicago tradition of steel framed stadia and could host a relatively large crowd of 22,000. An obituary published in the Los Angeles Times, 07/22/1980, erroneously referred to Charles O. Matcham, Sr., as being "the architect who in 1925 designed Wrigley Field." This mistake was also repeated in PCAD. According to a biographical record held at the Los Angeles Public Library, Matcham did not arrive in Los Angeles until 1928. Although no evidence is currently known to support this, it is possible that Matcham (or his son, also an architect), worked on Wrigley Field at a date later than 1928.

Wrigley Field had a two-story grandstand wrapping the field from left to right foul poles, and a grandstand and scoreboard in right field. Left field had a fifteen-foot concrete wall, that, like its namesake in Chicago, also had ivy covering it. The field measured 340 feet to the left foul pole, 339 to the right and 412 to center field. The stadium's exterior had an unusual Mission Revival Style character, with shaped parapets and Spanish tile covering the roofs; a twelve-story office and clock tower stood next to the ballpark entrance. The clock had four faces that could be seen for miles.

Wrigley had lights installed 07/22/1931;

The building was demolished in 03/1969; Wrigley Field became property of the City of Los Angeles c. 1958. Located at 425 East 42nd Place, the Gilbert W. Lindsay Community Center and park, operated by the city's Department of Recreation and Parks, now stands on the ballpark's site.

PCAD id: 4329

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