Bush Stadium

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Not to be confused with Busch Stadium. ‹See Tfd›
Bush Stadium
Full name Owen J. Bush Stadium
Former names Perry Stadium (1931-1942)
Victory Field (1942-1967)
Location 1501 West 16th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Broke ground 1931
Opened September 5, 1931
Closed 2001
Owner City of Indianapolis
Operator City of Indianapolis
Surface Grass
Construction cost $500,000
($7.75 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect Pierre & Wright
Osborn Engineering Company
Capacity 15,000 (1931-1937)
13,000 (1938-1946)
13,254 (1947-1979)
12,934 (1980-1996)
Field size Left Field - 335 ft (102 m)
Left Center Field - 350 ft (110 m)
Deep Left Center - 405 ft (123 m)
Center Field Inner Fence - 395 ft (120 m)
Deep Right Center - 405 ft (123 m)
Right Center Field - 350 ft (110 m)
Right Field - 335 ft (102 m)
Tenants

Indianapolis Indians (AA 1931-1962 & 1969-1996, IL 1963, PCL 1964-1968)
Indianapolis Clowns (NAL 1944-1950)

Bush Stadium
Bush Stadium Indianapolis.JPG
Location Indianapolis, Indiana
Coordinates 39°47′17″N 86°11′19″W / 39.78806°N 86.18861°W / 39.78806; -86.18861Coordinates: 39°47′17″N 86°11′19″W / 39.78806°N 86.18861°W / 39.78806; -86.18861
Built 1931
Architect Pierre & Wright; Osborn Engineering Company
Architectural style Art Deco
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 95000703 [2]
Added to NRHP June 26, 1995

Owen J. "Donie" Bush Stadium is the name of a former baseball stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was home to the Indianapolis Indians. It was also home to a few Negro League teams, as well as a Continental Football League team, the Indianapolis Capitols, who won the league championship in 1969.

The stadium started life as Perry Stadium, named for Norm Perry, the club owner who built it in 1931. It was renamed Victory Field in 1942 in reference to World War II. In 1967 the ballpark was sold to the city of Indianapolis. Later that same year it was renamed for former major league baseball player and Indianapolis native Donie Bush, who had served as president of the Indians from 1955 to 1969.[3]

Bush Stadium had ivy growing on its brick walls, as with Wrigley Field and Forbes Field. In 1987 it was dressed up in different ways to be used as the stand-in for both Comiskey Park and Crosley Field during the filming of Eight Men Out, which was about the "Black Sox Scandal", the throwing of the 1919 World Series. It was vacated by the ballclub when they moved to the new downtown ballpark Victory Field in mid-season 1996. The official site states that the older Victory Field was given that name "celebrating the United States’ victory in World War II". Since the name was first used in 1942, it would originally have been intended to encourage victory (as with the famous victory gardens).

Indianapolis hosted the Pan Am Games in 1987 and the baseball events were held at Bush Stadium.

In 1997, Tony George, president of the nearby Indianapolis Motor Speedway, leased the property and converted it into a dirt track named the 16th Street Speedway for midget car auto racing. As happened with a similar venture involving Philadelphia's Baker Bowl several decades earlier, the auto racing venture failed (after two years). The property closed and the stadium fell into disrepair, with no apparent future. The Indy Parks Department had control of the land, which was zoned as a park. At the time, it was estimated that renovations, which would include removal of asbestos and lead paint, could cost around $10 million.

Between 2008 and 2011 the Stadium was used as a storage site for cars traded in as part of the Cash for Clunkers program.

In 2011 it was proposed the stadium be turned into an apartment complex, and on March 15, 2012 demolition began on portions of the 81-year old structure. [4] The 138 loft units were completely leased when the complex opened on July 27, 2013. The dirt portion of the infield has now been paved with stamped red concrete, but the lights that lit up the field at night still stand. Much of the exterior facade has been preserved, and many of the historic features, such as the owner's suite and the ticket booth, have been incorporated into the loft apartments. There are studio, one, and two bedroom units in the complex. The cost of the project was $13 million, of which the city funded $5 million. Construction of an additional 144 flats is underway and scheduled to open in August 2014. [5]

Dimensions[edit]

Original

  • Left Field - 350 ft (110 m)
  • Center Field Corner - 500 ft (150 m)
  • Right Field - 350 ft (110 m)

Later

  • Left Field - 335 ft (102 m)
  • Left Center Field - 350 ft (110 m)
  • Center Field Corner - 470 ft (140 m)
  • Right Center Field - 350 ft (110 m)
  • Right Field - 335 ft (102 m)

Final

  • Left Field - 335 ft (102 m)
  • Left Center Field - 350 ft (110 m)
  • Deep Left Center - 405 ft (123 m)
  • Center Field Inner Fence - 395 ft (120 m)
  • Deep Right Center - 405 ft (123 m)
  • Right Center Field - 350 ft (110 m)
  • Right Field - 335 ft (102 m)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2006-03-15. 
  3. ^ "Bush, Owen Joseph "Donie, Ownie"". Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Demolition work begins on Bush Stadium". WTHR. Indianapolis. April 10, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ Banes, T. J. (December 2, 2013). "Lofts give new life to historic Bush Stadium". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  • Ballparks of North America, by Michael Benson.

External links[edit]