The Drawing Board
Other ideas in the subsequent months included a tram service from the distant areas of the terraced parking lots, and a “secret” that was revealed in 1960 when Hollywood producer Mervyn LeRoy commissioned a scale model of Dodger Stadium to acquaint the fans with the conveniences, comforts and beauty of their new stadium. The model was displayed at the Bank of America building on South Spring Street.
“Now that the model is about to go on display, one of the secrets of the Dodgers had hoped for their first night game will be out,” a team press release said. “Here it is: Whenever a Dodger hits a home run in the new stadium, vari-colored spotlights will play on the cascading waters of a picturesque fountain in center field. No fireworks. The fans can make the noise.”
The fountain remained on the drawing board, but the behind-the-scenes planning and brainstorming sessions with professional architects, co-workers in the Dodger front office and general baseball fans affirmed O’Malley’s personal challenge to make the ballpark a special destination among an already large list of Southern California attractions, landmarks and amusement parks.
“Don’t ever doubt that Walter is a showman,” Dodger Vice President Dick Walsh told the Los Angeles Times in October 1960. “Walter knows that baseball today demands more than three outfield walls and a covered stand. Chavez Ravine will have every innovation known to baseball — and a few known only to Walter.”Los Angeles Times, October 3, 1960
And there were plenty of ideas swirling in O’Malley’s mind. He jotted notes in 1958 with questions, observations and plans about everything from locker room blueprints to the menus at the various concession stands. The following categories are from O’Malley’s personal files:
Tram — World Fair type of transportation 25-cent charge from car to seats. Stations, turnstiles, pipe railing. Also use as guided tour before and after games and when team is away. Loud speaker like Disneyland with mike for driver. Tricky cars and locomotion, perhaps to pass through tunnels, a Hall of Fame, etc. Designed to attract youngsters.
Location of restaurants — Perhaps they could be worked in like at Roosevelt Racetrack in New York to have picture window of playing field and levels for tables could be terraced. Closed circuit TV set should be in restaurants and near concession stands.
Seats — 52,000 minimum with 2 step enlargement provision to 60,000 and 70,000 (to be largest BB park.)
Controlled air drafts — Prevailing wind is from the West (check exact compass direction). How to control this and get it to the stands and playing field — by movable louvered design? Do not want this to be a hot box. April, May and June evenings are a cool 60 degrees. Should we take the edge off this by radiant directed heat (infra red)?
Outdoor Cathedral of trees — like McKee Jungle Garden in Vero Beach planting of Royal Palms, or metasequoia, a restful landscaped place, fountains, benches, water, fish, peacocks, ducks, etc.
Fountains — With colored light. This seems to be an economic way to get architectural effects and to add to beauty. Lake and streams. The different elevations lend themselves to a recirculating system. See Hollywood Racetrack. We want this PARK to be a public attraction even when no events are scheduled.
Monumental effect — As this stadium will be largely buried in the ground, we might need something vertical and impressive. Perhaps an elevated water tower in the shape of a baseball with flood lights. Change color as home team leads or trails. This site when in use at night can be seen from most of the outlining districts, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, etc. Trylon and perisphere World Fair idea? Baseball and crossed bats in a tripod?