Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bay Street Park - Fun with Sketchup

I am working on an article for the Rochester Red Wings' 2012 yearbook about the various ballparks that the team has called home throughout the years. From 1908-1928 Rochester's professional baseball club played its home games at a stadium called Baseball Park at Bay Street. The ballpark was located on Bay Street, east of Webster Avenue.

There are many images of this quirky ballpark available online in the Rochester Library's archives. For the article I thought it would be interesting to render the ballpark in 3D based on these images. When finished, it will provide a more complete picture of what the ballpark looked like, since none of the photos show the entire ballpark. Aerial photography was in its infancy at the time and unfortunately no aerial photos of the ballpark seem to exist.

A panoramic shot of Bay Street Park comprised of three images. This scene depicts an overflow crowd of 13,000 fans on opening day 1909.

Using a map from 1910 for reference purposes, I was able to create the basic property area to scale in Sketchup. Although not all elements are to scale, the map provided a rough idea of the shape, location and size of the 4 basic structures of the ballpark - a main grandstand, 2 bleachers and an auxiliary building.

Detail area of the ballpark property, 1910
Basic Sketchup model

Once I had the basic geometry created, I was able to use photos for comparison.

View of first base side
View of third base side

The model is still very sketchy, but it gives an idea of the basic layout and scale of the ballpark. I have a lot of detail to add before it's finished, but it has been a worthwhile exercise to enable me to get a hang of the functionality and features of Google Sketchup.

Once my Bay Street Park model is complete I will likely do one for Silver Stadium (1929 - 1996), and perhaps even Frontier Field if I'm feeling ambitious!

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