Fenway Park is one of the most notable and most-loved landmarks in Boston. It’s the home of the Boston Red Sox and is also often a venue for other sporting events and concerts as well. Fenway Park is the oldest professional baseball field in the United States, and many people say that its design is that of the classic, American ballpark.
Fenway Park opened with the 1912 season, in a Boston defeat against the New York Highlanders (who would later become the Yankees). Construction on the park – which simply got its name based on the surrounding Fenway area – had begun only the year before when owner John I. Taylor bought the land in 1911. Originally, the Red Sox played at a field on Huntington Avenue, but it soon became apparent that they needed a larger stadium. And while the opening day in 1912 was exciting, it was overshadowed in the news by the sinking of the Titanic.
Just over a decade later, in May 1926, a fire destroyed the wooden bleachers along the park’s left-field line. They weren’t removed until August of that year, as attendance was low during that particular season. The owner, John Quinn, simply left the seats damaged, and it wasn’t until Tom Yawkey bought the team in 1933 that they were fixed in a major renovation project. Unfortunately, another fire ripped through the park in 1934, and construction crews worked throughout the winter to revitalize the building for the next season.
There are a few features at Fenway Park that make it unique, the most famous being the Green Monster. Part of the original 1912 ballpark construction, the massive 37-foot wall sits as a barrier for home runs in the left field. The scoreboard was added in 1934, and it continues to be manually updated throughout the game. For the first part of its life, advertisements blanketed the wall, and in 1947, it was painted green.
Fenway Park is a destination for baseball fans from all over the country, and the surrounding area is always busy during the season. It holds the longest sellout streak of any team in major professional sports – 820 games in total. Today, the park holds over 37,000 seats for a night game. In 2012, the park was added to the National Register of Historic Places, making it a destination for baseball lovers and history buffs alike. It continues to be renovated when needed, and recent estimates show it will be usable until 2061.