Fenway Park

1912; rebuilt 1934

National Register of Historic PlacesPreservation Achievement Award, 2005 (special commendation for outstanding stewardship)

Built in 1912, Fenway Park is the oldest and smallest active Major League baseball park in the United States. Although generations of baseball stars such as Babe Ruth and Ted Williams have played here, Fenway largely has remained unchanged over the past century. The most noticeable and iconic change was the 1934 addition of a 37-foot wall with a 23-1/2-foot tall screen on top it in left field. With a coat of green paint in 1947, this wall transformed into the “Green Monstah” that faces batters just 315 feet from home plate. Baseball writer Roger Angell has called Fenway “the best place in the world to watch baseball.”

Fenway Park faced demolition in the late-1990s and early-2000s, when the team owners proposed building a new stadium with more seats, luxury boxes, and amenities. A coalition of individuals and organizations formed to call for the renovation of the existing ballpark, and successfully gained public support, earned a National Trust Preservation Grant, and had the structure included on Historic Massachusetts’ Ten Most Endangered Historic Resources list. In 2005 the Red Sox announced that they would make the historic Fenway Park their permanent home after it became clear that a renovated ballpark could provide additional seating and space at a lower cost than a new one. Its “depression-style” brick façade may lack architectural glitz, but for most locals, several recent World Series banners provide all the ornament they need.

Fenway Park remains one of Boston’s most popular tourist attractions and is seeing increasing use in the off season for concerts, football & hockey games, and even big-air freestyle ski and snowboard competitions.

Image: User Jared Vincent on Flickr - Originally posted to Flickr as "Fenway-from Legend's Box", CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4312022