Dodger Stadium Walter O'Malley The Official Website

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The O'Malley - Fuller Connection

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After reading a reprint of a 1953 article “The Dymaxion World of Buckminster Fuller,”1 O’Malley wrote a letter to him on May 26, 1955 describing his interest in building a stadium for baseball with a translucent dome. O’Malley’s own educational background from the University of Pennsylvania and his interest in engineering provided him with considerable knowledge of the subject matter.
He wrote in the letter, “The dome would possibly have to be tipped off a horizontal axis so that the maximum height was over home plate. The diameter would probably be 600 feet. Such a dome would permit a more satisfactory lighting effect for night games than we now enjoy from the traditional towers in that light fixtures could be placed more strategically. We also plan inverse hanging boxes instead of the usual upper tier and a dome structure would make this quite possible. The average baseball park is used but 65 days a year. Closed-over it could be used, of course, many more times for a variety of events.
“Price would become an extremely important item. A dome such as I have in mind would have to be within the resources of a baseball company, say $1,000,000.
“I’m not interested in just building another baseball park.”
Three weeks earlier, O’Malley wrote a letter to Harold Boeschenstein, President of Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corporation, stating, “As an amateur I have had some experience with small greenhouses and I appreciate that some of the new materials will, no doubt, stand up under New York climatic conditions and it does seem that such a structure on a stadium would almost be a new ‘wonder of the world.’ Our stadium would be generally circular so that the shell would be a section of a sphere.
“If there is anything in the above that intrigues you from the standpoint of the products of your company you might care to give it some thought or perhaps pass it on to some of your technical men and I would be most appreciative to have at the earliest possible moment the benefit of such advice.”

1 American Fabrics, Spring 1953, “The Dymaxion World of Buckminster Fuller”

For his expansive body of work, R. Buckminster Fuller received 47 honorary degrees and was awarded 25 U.S. patents. Fuller was honored by the U.S. Postal Service with a postage stamp, which made its debut on July 12, 2004, on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of his patent for the geodesic dome.

Copyright © 2004 USPS

Whetting Walter O’Malley’s appetite for a possible dome stadium in Brooklyn to replace aging Ebbets Field was an article he read titled “The Dymaxion World of Buckminster Fuller,” which was reprinted in American Fabrics, Spring 1953. O’Malley wrote a letter to Fuller on May 26, 1955 to pursue the idea.

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For more information on the life and work of R. Buckminster Fuller
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