Rose Bowl Getting Facelift While Keeping Its Charm

Rose Bowl Getting Facelift While Keeping Its Charm

This is an era of sports facilities that are labeled tear-downs when they get to be about 30 years old. Forget the past and bring in the jackhammers. Ignore the history and fire up the bulldozers. In general, owners of sports teams — and the cities they play in — prefer shiny and new over historic and charming. The fine-wine concept doesn't often work for sports facilities.

To be clear, the tear-it-down approach is often the correct one. Many dumps truly earn their status. Example: the still-standing L.A. Sports Arena.

There are exceptions, such as Wrigley Field, Dodger Stadium and Fenway Park. Also, certainly, the Rose Bowl.

There are dangers in attempting to nip-and-tuck aging brick and mortar. They tried that at old Soldier Field and now have a facility referred to by the Chicago Tribune's architecture critic, shortly after its completion, as "The Eyesore on Lake Shore." Shortly after the "upgraded" Soldier Field opened, it lost its status as a National Historic Landmark. The Rose Bowl has that status and has no intention of losing it.

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