Ballparks Shaper Seeks New Field Of Endeavor

Janet Marie Smith Leaves Boston Red Sox Position

August 29, 2009|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,Ed.gunts@baltsun.com

A Marylander who helped shape Oriole Park at Camden Yards and later guided the preservation and expansion of Boston's Fenway Park is looking for a new challenge.

Roland Park resident Janet Marie Smith stepped down this summer as senior vice president in charge of planning and development for the Boston Red Sox, a position she has held for the past eight years. Smith said she left the Red Sox last month because her work in Boston was winding down and, after commuting between Baltimore and New England on a weekly basis for years, she is looking for planning opportunities closer to home. In the meantime, Smith said, she has been serving as an adviser to the city of Pasadena, Calif., and its Rose Bowl Operating Committee, which is planning a $150 million, three-year restoration and upgrade of the 1920s-era Rose Bowl, home of the Tournament of Roses.

From 1989 to 1994, Smith was vice president for planning and development for the Orioles, serving as the team's design conscience during the planning and construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. During her years with the Red Sox, she helped oversee Fenway Park's preservation and expansion, including the addition of several thousand seats and the establishment of Yawkey Way as an extension of the Fenway Park concourse during games and special events. Built in 1912, Fenway is the oldest ballpark used for major league baseball and occupies the smallest amount of land, just 7 acres.

A native of Mississippi, Smith, 51, lives in Baltimore with her husband, Bart Harvey, and three children. Throughout her tenure with the Red Sox, Smith flew to Boston each week. For much of that time, she concurrently held a job as senior adviser of planning and design for Struever Bros, Eccles and Rouse, a Baltimore based development company. She left Struever in late 2008.

Smith's departure from the Red Sox was first reported this week in the Boston Courant. "For the past eight years, she has been one of our most valuable and productive off-season acquisitions," Red Sox president and chief executive officer Larry Lucchino said Friday. "Her contributions to the renovation, preservation and protection of Fenway Park are indelible and everywhere. She has an energy and dedication that only a few lucky people are endowed with, and we were fortunate to have her working for us."

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