March 31, 2014 - Comments Off on Ashton Design Added to Baseball Hall of Fame
Camden Yards Design Documents Acquired by Cooperstown Collection
Oriole Park at Camden Yards continues to be the benchmark by which all great sports stadiums are measured. Just last week, more than 20 years after the stadium’s first Opening Day, TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, named Camden Yards one of the two best MLB ballparks in the U.S.
Now Baltimore has one more reason to celebrate its world-famous stadium: the iconic signage and other design elements developed by Ashton Design for the stadium’s 1992 opening are being added to the holdings of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.
The museum’s Accessions Committee “is charged with accepting only those items of historic significance which support the Museum’s education and exhibit programs.” Original drawings were submitted for consideration by the Committee at the end of January, and they were enthusiastically accepted into the museum’s permanent collection. The donation was officially recorded on March 17, 2014.
The acquisition is comprised of nearly 100 pieces, including original hand sketches David Ashton did onsite, while touring Oriole Park at Camden Yards during construction, hand colored presentation mechanicals, and blueprints. It includes everything from the 3 1/2-foot tall steel letters that adorn the stadium’s facade to the usher’s uniforms. The materials track the design progression of some of the stadium's most iconic elements including the scoreboard clock and Oriole weathervanes.
This was one of the last projects at Ashton Design to be completed entirely without the use of a computer, and is very likely one of the last stadium environmental graphic design projects to be done by hand.
The materials are now housed in the Archives and Manuscript Collection of the Museum’s library—a research center that contains more than three million documents relating to baseball history. The drawings will likely make their way to the Museum’s exhibition space someday where they could be displayed with artifacts from some of the game’s most sacred ballparks, both past and present.
Brian P. Miller