Structure Type: built works - public buildings - schools - university buildings; built works - recreation areas and structures - stadiums

Designers: Bakewell and Brown, Architects (firm); John Bakewell Jr. (architect); Arthur Brown Jr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1921, demolished 2005

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Galvez Street and El Camino Real
Stanford, CA 94305

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This 18.4-acre site is bounded by Galvez Street on the northwest, El Camino Real on the northeast, Nelson Road on the southwest and Sam McDonald Mall on the southeast.


Construction of the Stanford Stadium, originally seating 60,000, began on 06/01/1921 and finished an amazing four months later on 10/01/1921. Its capacity was adjusted eight times between 1921 and 1992, the last time creating a venue seating 85,500. A large increase occurred between 1921 and 1927, when it was increased from 60,000 to 89,000.

Building History

This first 85,500-seat was created from an earthen bowl. Wooden plank seats were later replaced with aluminum benches for seating. This first stadium cost $200,000 to construct. Ticket booths lined Sam MacDonald Mall, housed in low stucco buildings. A track ringed the football field, distancing fans from the football field, somewhat.

A notice in the Architect and Engineer of 12/1920 that simultaneously announced Stanford's plans to build a new 60,000-seat stadium and campaigned for a comparable one to be built at the school's rival, the University of California, Berkeley (UCB): "Stanford University trustees have authorized construction of a $750,000 concrete stadium to accommodate 60,000 people. Messrs. Bakewell & Brown, architect for the University, will prepare plans. The University of California needs a stadium as badly as Stanford, as evidenced when thousands were turned away from the big Thanksgiving football game. Here would be a splendid opportunity for some wealthy Californian, philanthropically inclined, to perpetuate his name for many years to come, by building a stadium and making a gift of it to the University." (See "Stadium for Stanford University," Architect and Engineer, Vol. LXIII, no. 3, 12/1920, p. 113.)


This first Stanford Stadium was demolished in 2005.

PCAD id: 8144