The third meeting of the task force planning the future of War Memorial Stadium was last week and from everything we have heard so far – the old ballpark’s seating structure is pretty much shot and will probably have to be demolished.
According to a summary assessment from concrete guru Bob Kennerly of Sutton-Kennerly & Associates… “The concrete riser system supporting stadium seating has deteriorated to a degree where its repair will be more costly (by a facto of 1.5 to 2 times more expensive) than a demolition and replacement in kind.”
So, the question will be not if large parts of the stadium will be demoished and (perhaps) rebuilt, but how much of the old original structure will have to remain in order for it to remain listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. We will likely get answers to that question during our next meeting on November 10th when we meet with a historic properties consultant.
My informed guess is that this consultant will point out that WMS’s National Registry nomination was based on the historical and architectural significance of the entire structure, not merely the stadium’s distinctive facade. Greensboro could soon be faced with the decision of either to restore the stadium in its current form at an exhorbitant price… or, tear it down and rebuild a much lower capacity stadium which would not meet the Secretary of the Interior’s guidelines for retaining the 1926 structure’s listing on the National Registry. It will be an interesting meeting.