Memorial Stadium might be razed by November

Two options considered: implosion, brick by brick

February 25, 2000|By Jamie Stiehm | Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF

Imagine Memorial Stadium imploding in a flash storm of dust.

The stadium on East 33rd Street, which the Orioles and Ravens left in the 1990s after stadiums were built downtown, could be demolished as early as November, a city task force learned this week.

No demolition bids have been received. City and state officials are considering two ways of taking down the stadium, which was built in 1954: implosion or brick by brick.

"Implosion is more likely, but at this point we need to preserve our options," said Edward Cline, deputy director of the Maryland Stadium Authority, the state agency managing the survey, preparation and demolition.

After the initial blast, removing debris could take months, Cline said.

The schedule he presented aims to have the 33-acre property ready for a developer to take over in May next year.

The state authorized nearly $10 million for clearing the site after the neighborhoods surrounding the stadium agreed that they did not want to live in the shadow of the vacant stadium, however nostalgic it might be to Baltimore sports fans.

The city has awarded the development rights to Govans Ecumenical Development Corp. (GEDCO) and the YMCA. GEDCO proposes to build a senior citizen housing community.

YMCA officials said Wednesday at a meeting at City College that they plan an aquatics and gymnastics program.

Charles Graves III, the city's planning director, called the schedule's tight week-by-week timing "pretty aggressive."

The original plan was for the city's Department of Public Works to manage the stadium demolition.

Officials later decided to have the Stadium Authority administer the money and the work, said Graves.

"It makes sense. There's more flexibility. It's a very positive sign," he said.

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