I would just like to start this blog post off by stating that I am taking a different approach when comparing Chicago to my home town of Bay City. I must also admit that I have had a very difficult time when trying to figure out what to compare but I think I have come to a conclusion.

In 1914 the second oldest ballpark in major league history by the name of Weeghman Park would be built. Today it is better known as Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. It was designed by Zachary Taylor Davis and took little under a year to construct. The reason I picked this facility out of all of Chicago’s history is just that, the history. When you walk into the stadium you get the original feel of how it was 101 years ago, with the original score board still intact today. Babe Ruth’s “called shot,” when Ruth pointed to a bleacher location during the 1932 World Series and then hit Charlie Root’s next pitch for a homer happened at this field. So many more historic baseball events have happened on this field as well.

Photo captured by C. Neering
Photo captured by C. Neering
  • Fun Fact: Lights were not added to the field until 1988.
Photo captured by C. Neering
Photo captured by C. Neering

The building that I decided to compare Wrigley Field is the Bay City Armory building which is known as the Bay County Historical Society. Replacing an older building that was built on the same ground in 1894, the architects Pratt & Koeppe redesigned the armory in 1911. Over the years the Bay City Armory was home to National Guard units from the area, including the 2nd Michigan Ambulance (later designated the 128th Ambulance at the start of World WarI), the 121st Ambulance company and the 207th Engineer Battalion. It also held Golden Glove events, dances, 4-H, and other various things. In 1986, the last National Guard unit moved out and it became the Historical Society. I chose this building due to its historical significance in Bay City.

Photo captured by C. Neering of the B.C. Historical Society/B.C. Armory Building
Photo captured by C. Neering of the B.C. Historical Society/B.C. Armory Building
Photo captured by C. Neering courtesy of the B.C. Historical Society.
Photo captured by C. Neering courtesy of the B.C. Historical Society of an original ambulance used during WW1.

When comparing the 2 facilities, I looked at the years built and the purposes for them. Built only 3 years apart and built for different reasons I could not help but compare them. When I think of America I think of baseball and its part in world conflict; war. Baseball was something that you played or watched to ease your mind about the wars occurring overseas, in my opinion anyways. Both places are filled with endless amounts of history and have been changed over the years but they still serve the original purpose for what they were built. Although the Historical Society doesn’t house guard units anymore, it has turned itself into a museum that preserves what it was once built for and teaches the public of its history. And although Wrigley Field isn’t quite the same as it was 101 years ago, it has been preserved and restored to keep the same feeling as if you were watching a game in 1914.

Works Cited:

http://www.bchsmuseum.org/id41.html

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/ballpark/information/index.jsp?content=history