Saturday was a black day for Yankee fans, as National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis traveled to Boston to add Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, to the National Register of Historic Places.
The honor bestowed on the century-old ballpark was In recognition of its "historic and architectural/engineering significance," the Park Service said in announcing the designation.
Boston Red Sox team officials and Director celebrated the designation by unveiling the National Register plaque during a pre-game ceremony prior to the first game of a day-night doubleheader. The Yankees won that game, in which Director Jarvis tossed out the game's ceremonial first pitch, 6-1.
“Recognizing the incredible history of this ballpark through the National Register designation is a great way to bring the national parks and the national pastime together,” said the director in statements released before the game. “Fenway is a treasured American icon for baseball fans across the country. It, along with the Boston area’s 11 national parks, helps attract visitors from around the world to one of our nation’s most vibrant cities, expanding opportunities for business and tourism that generate economic returns for Boston and the nearby communities.”
Red Sox president and CEO, Larry Lucchino, commented that, “John Henry, Tom Werner, and I, on behalf of our partners, made a commitment to preserve Fenway Park more than a decade ago, and we are pleased that as a result of that renovation effort, Fenway Park will now be counted among America’s most treasured historical places, ensuring that it is protected and enjoyed by future generations.
“This important designation is a significant part of Fenway Park's 100th anniversary celebrations, and we are proud and excited to celebrate it formally alongside the National Park Service and our preservation partners during this 2012 anniversary season," he added.
Since 1912, Fenway Park has been home to the Boston Red Sox, one of the most storied franchises in American sports. It is the oldest venue used by any professional sports team in the United States and one of the few remaining fields from the early 20th-century’s “Golden Age of Ballparks.”
In addition to Red Sox baseball and myriad other professional sporting events, Fenway Park has witnessed a microcosm of American history over the last century, hosting events as varied as World War II bond rallies; political rallies, including the final campaign speech of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s career; and concerts that reflect the diversity of American music, from Frank Sinatra to Jimmy Buffett. With its listing this year, Fenway Park is the only sports venue currently used by a professional sports team (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL) to be so designated.
The National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Listing in the National Register makes Fenway eligible for federal historic rehabilitation tax credits administered by the National Park Service.