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A digital view of Old Comiskey Park from the lower deck.

Courtesy of Brian Powers

Chicago architect bringing old Comiskey Park back to life

Brian Powers is digitally modeling the stadium and sharing it with the public on his his Bandbox Ballparks Twitter account (@SportsBandbox).

SHARE Chicago architect bringing old Comiskey Park back to life
SHARE Chicago architect bringing old Comiskey Park back to life
B
rian Powers wanted to find a way to preserve the structure of old Comiskey Park. His project will allow fans to relive the grand old stadium or experience it for the first time.

Powers, 52, is a Chicago-based architect who has been on a 30-year journey to capture old Comiskey as it stood in its last season in 1990. After searching through archives, using professional connections and even pooling resources with the Baseball Hall of Fame, Powers assembled the complete Comiskey Park blueprints.

“It became kind of an obsession over time,” Powers said. “As I grew my collection, I wanted to find a creative way to share this and other ballpark information with other people who have similar interests.”

Powers already has done that, and the project isn’t even complete.

He’s digitally modeling the stadium and sharing it with the public. His progress can be tracked on his Bandbox Ballparks Twitter account (@sportsbandbox), which has over 2,000 followers and posts screengrabs of the work.

So far, he has shown images from all parts of the stadium, inside and out. He has displayed the view from the pitcher’s mound, from home plate and from the press box and has even shown how washrooms looked in 1990.

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Courtesy of Brian Powers

“I certainly appreciate the interest that it’s generated,” Powers said. “Hopefully this will be a good mechanism to educate people more on architecture in our history. It’s been rewarding for me. I certainly never imagined it would come this far.”

Powers actually began rendering the ballpark a year ago with Revit, a 3D architectural program used in many professional environments. He was originally hoping to finish the project by Opening Day but is now looking to complete it sometime this summer.

When the project is complete, Powers intends to set up a website where the digital ballpark will be available. The stadium, Powers said, will be fully modeled, as well as the surrounding blocks around the ballpark. People will have the ability to walk up to ticket windows, enter the ballpark, explore concourses, get a hot dog and go to their seat.

He’s looking for the project to be experienced in virtual and augmented reality, and Powers will post fly-throughs on his YouTube channel. Fans will be able to check out the famed Bard’s Room, see the golden boxes, look at the last incarnation of the old park’s exploding scoreboard and visit the outfield picnic area.

“All of those details will be captured,” Powers said. “Hopefully it will come together pretty well. So far, it’s been pretty good.”

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Courtesy of Brian Powers

So has the reception for the project. Old Comiskey has been gone for 30 years, and memories of actual games are getting more distant, but its place in people’s hearts isn’t getting weaker.

Powers is seeing that.

“What I’m doing now is finding a way to engage people as I go through the process,” Powers said. “What has been an unexpected benefit of all this is hearing all the stories people are sharing about the park and their experiences growing up. It’s really generated a lot of buzz and reignited memories that people had. I think having the forum to do that has been wonderful.”

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Courtesy of Brian Powers

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Courtesy of Brian Powers

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Courtesy of Brian Powers

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