Dodger Stadium Walter O'Malley The Official Website

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The O'Malley - Fuller Connection


Walter O’Malley and R. Buckminster Fuller peak inside the large scale dome stadium model for the Dodgers in Brooklyn on November 22, 1955. Fuller served as a “guest” lecturer at Princeton University in 1955-56 where the model was produced. O’Malley was intrigued with the concept of a ballpark with year-round events.

Photo by Wil Blanche. Copyright © 1955. All Rights Reserved.

By Brent Shyer

Shocking, perhaps. Unique, for certain.
As Walter O’Malley searched for solutions to the problem of an aging Ebbets Field with its limited parking in the late 1940s and early 1950s, he dreamed about the possibility of privately building in Brooklyn the first domed stadium for baseball.
Avoiding costly rainouts, ample parking for fans residing in suburbs, year-round uses for multiple sports and improving traffic flow in a highly-congested area were cited as some of the varied reasons that O’Malley was partial to the idea. It should come as no surprise, then, that his vision would cause him to reach out to some of the era’s foremost thinkers and designers.
Among those individuals that O’Malley contacted for ideas and solutions was designer, architect, engineer and inventor R. Buckminster Fuller, most famous for his invention of the geodesic dome. A United States Postal Service stamp commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Fuller’s patent of the geodesic dome was released on July 12, 2004.
O’Malley pondered the possibility of placing a dome over a baseball stadium for some time. In fact, in his June 17, 1952 letter to Frank Schroth, Publisher of The Brooklyn Eagle, O’Malley wrote: “I believe Brooklyn needs a modern athletic stadium seating approximately 52,000. A modern stadium with a movable roof would provide convention facilities unequalled elsewhere. Such a stadium could house motor boat, automobile, flower, sportsmen and other shows and attractions. Such a stadium would have to be strategically located to give maximum convenience for rapid transit patrons. Present and future parkways should be designed to provide accessibility. The stadium could offer all year round parking facilities.”

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