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The year Fenway was almost "domed"


Build-It-Yourself Fenway Park (Addison-Wesley Publishing Company) was a unique book created by Len Martin back in 1993.  The large dimension 9 x 13 inch soft cover book was only 16 pages of text, but that was because its other pages contained pieces that can be cut out and used to assemble a 24 by 30 inch full-color model of "Americas most beloved ballpark".  Today the book can be found onlineBIYFP with sellers asking as much as $175.00 in mint condition, but with a little effort it can be obtained for much less.

No ballpark has probably been debated, enjoyed, cursed, displayed (figurines, t-shirts) and visited (without a game being scheduled, except for that place 182 miles to the southwest in the Bronx) as much as Fenway.

However did you know that back in the mid 1960’s, a proposal was put forth to build a dome stadium to replace the home of the Red Sox?  True.

Shortly after the Houston Astrodome opened and was being hailed as the eighth wonder of the modern world, a plan was presented in Boston to build a domed stadium at a cost of $90M.  The Domecomplex would include an arena with the intent that all four pro sports teams would call the place home.  It is believed that the Bruins were the only hold out.

The scrapbook pictures shown on the left were published by the former Boston Record American (later part of Boston Herald) back in 1965.  It shows a model of the proposed complex being viewed by then Governor John Volpe (second from left), Lt. Governor Elliot Richardson (third from left), architect Vincent Kling (third from right) and then Boston Patriots owner Billy Sullivan (second from right).  The lower picture shows where the stadium would have been located. Summer Street runs from the left middle of the picture to the top middle of the photo.  The Southeast Expressway is identified at the bottom running left to right.

Although most fans would love to see a new green cathedral built in Boston, most everyone agrees there is something special about experiencing a game at Fenway that no one wants to see lost.  OK, Red Sox fan that is.  It’s also true that most fans regardless of age are realistic about the chances of seeing a new park opened in their lifetime.

Another plan was presented in 1999, the year the Sox hosted the All-Star Game.  A group, that included the previous Red Sox ownership, called the plan, "Preserving the Red Sox Experience".  A pamphlet was issued depicting a newer and more modern Fenway with just about everything in the same place it is today.  But it wasn’t the current park remodeled because what are the infield, left field and wallPTRSE_PamphletProposed_Fenwaytoday, are shown at the top of the drawing preserved as a public park.

The proposal goes on to describe how the Green Monster, Pesky’s Pole, the manual scoreboard, and the bullpens in right, would be retained, but the new park would also have wider aisles, more comfortable seats and no obstructed views.  Since the concept came before the Monster Seats and the Beer Garden were built, it is obvious the planners didn’t have the foresight to realize how popular additions like those would be.

One can only wonder when the next replacement for Fenway Park will be proposed, but with all the money the present owners have put into renovations, it’s safe to say it won’t be from them at the 100th anniversary of the field in 2012.  However one would expect an updated BIYFP or other similar book around that time that can be added to Fenway collections everywhere.

What do you like to collect or do you know of an upcoming event for collectors? If you are willing to share the information, please send me a note at and maybe we can share it with readers. 


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