The National Building Museum announced that it will present its prestigious annual Honor Award for 2003 to Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Football League (NFL). The Honor Award recognizes the important and positive role that new football stadiums and baseball parks, including Lambeau Field, have played in the physical revitalization of American cities over the past decade, as well as the architectural and engineering excellence demonstrated by many such facilities.
NFL Commissioner Paul J. Tagliabue and MLB Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig will accept the award before an anticipated audience of over 1,000 cultural, corporate, real estate industry, political, and sports industry leaders. The festive black-tie gala will be held on September 17 in the landmark Great Hall of the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.
"Sports teams have always been an integral part of a city's character and civic pride," said Carolyn Brody, chair of the National Building Museum's board of trustees. "The National Building Museum is privileged to salute Major League Baseball and the National Football League for their leadership in the recent resurgence of urban sports facilities. These new stadiums and ballparks have a positive impact on local neighborhoods and many have received praise for their sensitive design and planning."
Over the past decade, as American cities have experienced a resurgence, there has been a trend among professional sports franchises to move back into - or build in - urban centers. New facilities for football and baseball have spurred an impressive renaissance in many downtown areas. Lambeau Field is included on the list of 37 stadiums that will have been constructed or have undergone major renovations over a 15-year period (1992-2006). This list includes 21 football stadiums, 15 baseball parks, and one shared facility. These facilities in many cases have been the focal point of comprehensive urban revitalization strategies in their cities. Many of the stadium projects also have reinvigorated many urban communities, often encouraging the construction of new downtown housing, retail, and commercial centers.
Engaging and evocative architecture, careful planning, and innovative engineering all contribute to the popular appeal of new sports facilities, which are often credited with enhancing local residents' sense of civic pride. Houston's Minute Maid Park and Reliant Stadium, for instance, each feature an extraordinary retractable roof, allowing maximum flexibility for different events regardless of weather. Cleveland Browns Stadium's design includes architectural gaps, allowing views of the downtown skyline and establishing a strong sense of connection to the city. Baltimore's Oriole Park at Camden Yards won acclaim for the thoughtful design of its circulation elements like ramps and stair towers, which are treated as architectural opportunities rather than utilitarian necessities. Ongoing efforts to create outstanding sports facilities are also evident in projects now under consideration, such as the proposed New York Jets Stadium, which incorporates remarkable environmentally-conscious design strategies that will minimize energy consumption. All told, the new ballparks and stadiums built over the past decade or so serve as outstanding examples of how skillful design, engineering, and construction can yield beloved structures that enhance the public realm.
Bestowed annually since 1986, the National Building Museum's Honor Award recognizes outstanding individuals and companies who have made significant contributions in the fields of architecture, planning, construction, and building. In accepting the award, the NFL and MLB join such celebrated past recipients as Michael D. Eisner and The Walt Disney Company, the Rockefeller and Pritzker families, the IBM Corporation, United States Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, former National Gallery director J. Carter Brown, and Lady Bird Johnson, among others. The evening gala will benefit exhibition and education programs of the National Building Museum, the only public institution in America devoted exclusively to examining and interpreting American achievements in building.
National Building Museum
Created by an act of Congress in 1980, the National Building Museum is America's premier cultural institution dedicated to exploring and celebrating architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning. Since opening its doors in 1985, the Museum has become a vital forum for exchanging ideas and information about such topical issues as managing suburban growth, preserving landmarks and communities, and revitalizing urban centers. The Museum's engaging exhibitions and education programs - including innovative curricula for school children and stimulating programs for adults - annually attract nearly 400,000 people. The Museum is located at 401 F Street NW, Washington, D.C. Museum hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. Admission is free. Museum Shop. Café. Public inquiries: 202/272-2448 or visit www.nbm.org.
New Sports Facilities (1992-2006)
- Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga. [Atlanta Falcons]
- Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Md. [Baltimore Orioles]
- The Ballpark at Arlington, Arlington, Texas [ Texas Rangers]
- Jacobs Field, Cleveland, Ohio [Cleveland Indians]
- ALLTEL Stadium, Jacksonville, Fla. [Jacksonville Jaguars]
- Coors Field, Denver, Colo. [Colorado Rockies]
- Edward Jones Dome at America's Center, St. Louis, Mo. [St. Louis Rams]
- Network Associates Coliseum, Oakland, Calif. [Oakland Raiders, Oakland A's]
- Ericsson Stadium, Charlotte, N.C. [Carolina Panthers]
- FedEx Field, Landover, Md. [Washington Redskins]
- Turner Field, Atlanta, Ga. [Atlanta Braves]
- Bank One Ballpark, Phoenix, Ariz. [Arizona Diamondbacks]
- Ravens Stadium at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Md. [Baltimore Ravens]
- Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, Fla. [Tampa Bay Buccaneers]
- The Coliseum, Nashville, Tenn. [Tennessee Titans]
- Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio [Cleveland Browns]
- Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, N.Y. [Buffalo Bills]
- SAFECO Field, Seattle, Wash. [Seattle Mariners]
- Comerica Park, Detroit, Mich. [Detroit Tigers]
- Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas [Houston Astros]
- Pacific Bell Park, San Francisco, Calif. [San Francisco Giants]
- Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio [Cincinnati Bengals]
- Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pa. [Pittsburgh Steelers]
- INVESCO Field at Mile High, Denver, Colo. [Denver Broncos]
- Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wis. [Milwaukee Brewers]
- PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pa. [Pittsburgh Pirates]
- Ford Field, Detroit, Mich. [Detroit Lions]
- Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass. [New England Patriots]
- Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas [Houston Texans]
- Seahawks Stadium, Seattle, Wash. [Seattle Seahawks]
- Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio [Cincinnati Reds]
- Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wis. [Green Bay Packers]
- Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pa. [Philadelphia Eagles]
- Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill. [Chicago Bears]
- PETCO Park, San Diego, Calif. [San Diego Padres]
- Phillies Ballpark, Philadelphia, Pa. [Philadelphia Phillies]
- Cardinals Stadium, Glendale, Ariz. [Arizona Cardinals]