The Bleacher Bar at Fenway Park: Transforming a Former Indoor Batting Cage Into a Unique Eatery and Bar

By Graham Ruggie

As one of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston is steeped in rich history. Many of the city’s most successful restaurants and hotels embrace the architectural heritage, while still providing modern conveniences including The Liberty Hotel, The Kendall Hotel, and Chart House restaurant. In fact, Boston’s Fenway Park offers one of the best examples of the “adaptive reuse” of iconic space. This is the story behind the design and construction of the Bleacher Bar; an area once used as an indoor batting cage for our beloved Red Sox baseball team.

When the architectural firm I was working for landed a project to design a new restaurant inside Fenway Park, I jumped at the chance to be involved. Little did I know that among the typical duties of an architect, I would have to find a way to install two-way glass above a row of urinals so thirsty patrons would not miss the action during the game. It proved to be an interesting part of the story to transform a former batting cage under the bleachers into a unique restaurant and bar destination.

_MG_4520
The central area of the bar looks out onto the Boston Red Sox field at Fenway Park (Photo Source: Author’s personal collection)

 

The Bleacher Bar sits unobtrusively below the famous Green Monster outfield wall, free of distracting the players and batter. (Getty Images)
The Bleacher Bar sits unobtrusively below the famous Green Monster outfield wall, free of distracting the players and batter. (Creative Commons Eric Kilby License 2.0)

Preserving History

Architect Janet Marie Smith had already been working with the Boston Red Sox as an “owner’s rep” to oversee a multi-year transformation of the ballpark once it had been decided to keep professional baseball at the park in lieu of moving to a new stadium. It seemed that every year there was a new project to add seats, including unique spaces such as the “Budweiser Pavilion” and cantilevered seating above the Green Monster over Lansdowne Street. The time had come to look at the last remaining undeveloped space in the park. The triangle-shaped space begins where the outfield wall intersects with the historic Green Monster and wedges out along the outfield and Lansdowne Street to a ramp that brings equipment out to the field. The “floor” of this former indoor batting cage area is at the field level which is about 42” below the sidewalk on Lansdowne St. Adding to the challenge of the geometry of the space are large steel girder beams that rise from the outfield wall to the outside wall of the park. The stepping of the formed concrete bleachers above is visible from inside the space. Finally, there was an existing 12’ x 12’ overhead door that opens onto the warning track. The Red Sox and restaurant developer wanted to make sure that we retained all of these unique elements in the design of the space to draw patrons for the experience. The challenge became, how do we design a comfortable, bar/restaurant space that not only meets code requirements, but also creates a unique experience for patrons?

_MG_4433
The bar/restaurant design strategically uses the small space to provide appropriate flow of traffic (Photo Source: Author’s personal collection)

Keeping with Code

After multiple layouts and back and forth with the client, we needed to address some unique code requirements and design features before we could complete the Construction Documents permitting and construction. The triangular space needed two means of egress to the street and a chair lift to meet accessibility requirements. This limited our options for space planning, as the big attraction for the space (other than the view out onto the field) was going to be a large bar with custom millwork and glass including a liquor rack and beer coolers that are fed from behind. In fact, just behind the bar there is a one-of-a-kind beer bottle and keg cooler. Seating, service stations, restrooms and the kitchen all needed to find a home while providing appropriate flow of traffic within these tight constraints.

From Lansdowne Street, the glowing Bleacher Bar sign invites fans and tourists in for a unique experience
From Lansdowne Street, the glowing Bleacher Bar sign invites fans and tourists in for a unique experience (Photo Source: Author’s personal collection)

Discreet Design

One of the most interesting parts of the design is the opening onto the field itself. Originally, there was a metal panel door in the opening, painted green to blend into the padding along the outfield wall. The park later replaced it with a glass overhead door that provided an excellent, if limited, view of the field. The challenge was, how to allow the bar patrons see onto the field without being seen by the players? The overhead door in question was directly in line with the batter’s field of vision as they watched the ball release from the pitcher’s hand. How could we prevent a flashing light or movement inside the bar from distracting the batter? Especially a Red Sox batter! I found a one-way film produced locally that had the potential to allow one-way viewing through the glass. The film was expensive and had to be printed with official Fenway green paint color. We arranged for a mock up and test after the completion of a night game. We worked with the contractor to set up lights and people standing in the opening with the door closed – just as it would be during a game. We were able to walk from the opening around the warning track and stand behind home plate to see if the product would work. As we walked on holy ground I asked the owner’s representative who was going to approve the installation before the developer spent money on the expensive film? The answer was “No one. If any player complains to the players association, a metal panel door will have to replace the glass door.” If that happened, that would be the end of our key attraction in the restaurant/bar. It was a gamble that fortunately paid off.

_MG_4389
A one-way film created to match the iconic Green Monster wall discreetly hides patrons from distracting the baseball players while still allowing for a clear view of the field from inside the Bleacher Bar. (Photo Source: Author’s personal collection)

Since 2008, the Bleacher Bar has been bustling with activity both on- and off-season with patrons clamoring for seats with a view of the field. Can’t find a seat with a view? After a beer or two, men can head upstairs to the restroom where they’ll find a unique design element: two-way glass above the urinals offer a unique perspective of the field! The windows came about after the architectural drawings were misread and it looked like there were supposed to be windows in the restroom. Everyone liked the idea so much that they were actually added in. All in a day’s work for this hospitality graduate turned architect!


RuggieGraham Ruggie (SHA ’91) is the owner and principal architect of Janez Design located in Framingham, Massachusetts.  He earned a Master of Architecture degree from the Boston Architectural College, but he considers his customer-focused management skills just as important as his design abilities. He’s uniquely qualified in this regard, with his years of managing restaurants in the hospitality industry, his completion of Marriott’s Total Quality Management course, as well as his degree in hospitality management from Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration. He lives in Ashland with his wife Ana (SHA ’91) and daughters.

74 comments

  1. I am a student and I know that a large number of college students need the option of buying written work. The main thing in this matter is the need to find a really reliable thesis writers services, whose writers will write it for you in the shortest possible time and without plagiarism. This will improve your results at the university and at the same time you will have an excellent GPA.

  2. I didn’t have any expectations concerning that title, but the more I was astonished. The author did a great job. I spent a few minutes reading and checking the facts. Everything is very clear and understandable. I like posts that fill in your knowledge gaps. This one is of the sort.

  3. As a student, I understand that many college students want the option to buy written work. It is important to find reliable thesis writing service like dissertationteam that will provide you with high-quality, original work. This will increase your university results and will also result in a high GPA.

  4. I would like to say please convey a new web blog for us with different and unique content as well as the topic should be attractive Top Gun Jackets . Try to explore the research power and please convey it to us.

  5. I realize that a lot of college students want the opportunity to purchase written assignments. Finding a trustworthy thesis writing service like dissertationteam is essential if you want to receive original, high-quality work. drift boss

  6. This is the story behind the design and construction of the Bleacher Bar; an area once used as an indoor batting cage for our beloved Red Sox baseball team. And if you like Diablo 4, you can’t miss cheap diablo 4 items from SSEGold

  7. At Simple, we see investing differently.
    Today’s financial system is complex, exclusive and expensive – making it hard to gain access, get lower fees and preferential treatment. We believe that the financial system should work for everyone!

  8. A very interesting topic that I have been looking at, I think this is one of the most important information for me run 3. And I’m glad to read your post. Thanks for sharing!

  9. It’s obviously true that the subject requires broad examination while doing the economics assignment help. What’s more, students frequently face issues in overseeing time to lead economics examination. In any case, it’s OK, for however long we are there other than you.

  10. Spend some time playing. I’m interested in finding out more because I have strong views about it. Would you please provide more details to your blog post? We will all actually gain from it. nytimes crossword

  11. Wow, what an incredible project! As a fellow architecture enthusiast, I can only imagine the challenges and excitement that came with designing a new restaurant inside Fenway Park, a historical and iconic space in Boston. The concept of transforming a former batting cage under the bleachers into a restaurant and bar is truly fascinating.

    The use of two-way glass above the urinals to ensure that patrons don’t miss the game while quenching their thirst is both innovative and thoughtful. It’s these small details that make a space memorable and enhance the overall experience for visitors.

    Boston’s commitment to embracing its architectural heritage while incorporating modern conveniences is commendable. The Liberty Hotel, The Kendall Hotel, and Chart House restaurant are shining examples of how historical buildings can be repurposed to provide both a glimpse into the past and modern amenities.

    Projects like this highlight the importance of adaptive reuse and the preservation of iconic spaces. They allow us to celebrate history while also meeting the evolving needs of the present.

    Thank you for sharing this captivating story of design and construction. It’s inspiring to see how architecture can play a role in shaping the experiences we have in historic locations like Fenway Park.

    Thank you,
    Navigasyonltd

  12. The transformation of the former indoor batting cage at Fenway Park into the Bleacher Bar is a fascinating example of adaptive reuse and architectural ingenuity. Graham Ruggie, an architect involved in the project, shares the story behind this unique eatery and bar located below the famous Green Monster outfield wall.

    The project was part of the ongoing efforts to preserve and enhance Fenway Park, one of Boston’s iconic landmarks. Architect Janet Marie Smith had been overseeing the park’s transformation and had successfully added various seating areas and unique spaces. Now it was time to tackle the last undeveloped space, which happened to be the triangular area below the outfield wall and along Lansdowne Street.

    The challenge was to create a comfortable and code-compliant bar/restaurant space while preserving the existing architectural elements and unique features. This included the field-level floor, the large steel girder beams, the concrete bleachers above, and even an existing overhead door that opened onto the warning track.

    One particular design challenge mentioned by Ruggie was installing two-way glass above a row of urinals so that patrons could enjoy the game while using the facilities. This attention to detail demonstrates the commitment to providing a unique and immersive experience for visitors.

    The Bleacher Bar’s strategic location below the Green Monster allows patrons to enjoy the game without distracting the players or the batter. The central area of the bar offers a view of the field, creating a direct connection to the baseball experience.

    Overall, the Bleacher Bar at Fenway Park is a testament to the importance of preserving historic spaces and finding innovative ways to repurpose them. It showcases the intersection of architecture, sports, and culinary experiences, providing a unique destination for both baseball enthusiasts and food lovers alike.

    VOIR Magazin

  13. The purpose of the pl 900 exam questions is to evaluate a person’s understanding of the fundamentals of the Power Platform. Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, and Common Data Service are just a few of the Power Platform-related subjects that are covered in the exam. Multiple-choice questions make up the test, and a 700 score out of 1000.

  14. Chemical pesticides are used as a last resort and are carefully chosen to minimize their impact on non-target species and the environment. Modern formulations are often more specific and less harmful than older, broad-spectrum pesticides. Flower Mound Pest Control Pros

  15. Let Kashmir Wanderlust be your guiding light as you explore the wonders of the “Paradise on Earth.” Discover hidden gems, forge lasting connections with the locals, and create memories that will linger in your heart for a lifetime. Choose us as your travel agent in Kashmir, and embark on a transformative journey that will leave you yearning to return to this enchanting land time and time again.

  16. Say goodbye to dead zones and weak signals. I’m here to help you msrm extender setup . for seamless connectivity in every corner of your home. Let’s boost your WiFi signal and unlock the full potential of your internet experience. Get ready for uninterrupted streaming, gaming, and browsing!

  17. Jika Anda orang yang pertama belajar sholat dhua. dibawah ini adalah niat sholat sunat duha yang mudah di hafal
    اُصَلِّى سُنَّةَ الضَّحٰى رَكْعَتَيْنِ مُسْتَقْبِلَ الْقِبْلَةِ اَدَاءً ِللهِ تَعَالَى
    “Ushalli sunnatadh Dhuhaa rak’ataini mustak’bilal kib’lati adaa’an lillaahi ta’aalaa”.
    “Aku niat mengerjakan sholat sunah Dhuha dua rakaat menghadap kiblat karena Allah Ta’ala.”
    Semoga bisa membantu
    Seumber : Tatacara dan bacaan Niat Sholat Dhuha

  18. Wow, Graham! The transformation of the Bleacher Bar at Fenway Park from an indoor batting cage into a modern-day hotspot is nothing short of phenomenal. Boston, with its tales as old as time, absolutely merits this dance of the old with the new, where history waltzes with innovation. What strikes me most is the meticulous attention to detail, right from retaining the ballpark’s iconic elements to addressing the unique code requirements and creating an unobtrusive viewing experience for the patrons without distracting the players. Rolling the dice with that one-way film was like diving headfirst into a pool of architectural intrigue and uncertainty! Talk about taking on a wild ride in the project. And the story of the two-way glass above the urinals? What a delightful twist! It’s these quirks that add personality to an establishment. Here’s to embracing history while adapting to the demands of modern hospitality. Cheers to the team’s ingenuity and dedication!

    ******************************
    Need PoE currency? Visit us!
    ******************************

  19. Welcome to Vape Star USA, where innovation meets personalization in the world of vaping. Our collection of refillable vapes opens up a realm of possibilities, allowing you to enjoy your favorite flavors with the convenience of customizable options. Say goodbye to the limitations of pre-filled cartridges and hello to a vaping experience that’s tailored to your preferences. Join us as we delve into the world of refillable vapes and how they’re transforming the way vapers indulge in their passion. Refillable Vape

  20. if you’re searching for the best smoke and vape shop in the region, you should have to try Puff n Pass smoke and vape shop, they have great products at affordableprices. You won’t regret it.

  21. Latex For Less Coupons are discount offers provided by Latex For Less, a renowned manufacturer and retailer of natural latex mattresses and bedding products.

    These coupons enable customers to enjoy cost savings and special promotions when purchasing Latex For Less products.

    By entering a Latex For Less Coupon code at checkout, shoppers can access exclusive discounts on high-quality, eco-friendly latex mattresses, toppers, pillows, and other sleep essentials.

    Latex For Less Coupons make it easier for individuals to invest in premium, comfortable bedding solutions while keeping their budgets in mind, leading to better sleep and restful nights.

  22. Tommy Chong’s CBD Coupons are discount opportunities offered by Tommy Chong’s CBD, a well-known brand specializing in high-quality CBD products.
    These coupons provide customers with a chance to save money when purchasing CBD items from Tommy Chong’s CBD store.

    By using a Tommy Chong’s CBD Coupon code during the checkout process, shoppers can access exclusive discounts and promotions on a variety of CBD products, such as oils, tinctures, gummies, and more.

    Tommy Chong’s CBD Coupons make it more affordable for individuals to experience the potential benefits of CBD while enjoying savings on their wellness purchases.

  23. I have been impressed after reading this because of some quality work and informative thoughts. Looking for a way to block ads on Twitch? You’re in luck! The Twitch Adblocker article is here to help. It explains how to effectively block ads on the Twitch platform.

  24. Thank you for sharing the great post. I admire your informative post. Are you aware of trending technology AI like ChatGPT, Chatbot, etc.? If but don’t know how to use chatGPT, then must visit the mentioned blog site here you get all the information about how to use ChatGPT.

  25. Assist for Linksys Velop AC6600 Setup is a user-friendly support service dedicated to enhancing your Linksys Velop Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi system experience. Whether you’re setting up, troubleshooting, or optimizing your network, our expert team is here to provide step-by-step guidance and personalized solutions.

  26. The fear of upcoming exams can be daunting. However, our exceptional take my online exam for me platform is here to guide you through. With the support of our dedicated team of academic experts, you’re set not just to pass, but to excel. Transition from stress-filled evenings to nights of victory. Your academic resurgence awaits!

  27. Before you start using SaveInsta, it’s essential to be familiar with its significant attributes. This downloader has gained popularity for several compelling reasons, similar in stature to downloadgram. Below are the main features of the Save Insta tool:

  28. Resident Evil 4 Leon Kennedy Jacket, is a must-have for fans across the USA. This iconic jacket, inspired by the legendary character Leon S. Kennedy, captures the essence of his fearless style and charisma. Crafted with precision, it’s more than just a piece of clothing. resident evil jacket it’s a statement of boldness and courage. Made with high-quality materials to withstand your daily battles, this jacket is a perfect blend of comfort and durability. Whether you’re a gaming enthusiast, a fashion-forward individual, or a collector of celebrity-inspired attire, the Leon Kennedy jacket is an unmissable addition to your wardrobe. Experience the thrill of Resident Evil 4 and embody the spirit of a hero every time you wear it. Don’t just play the game, live it.

  29. SaveInsta is a website designed to download Instagram posts directly online, without the need for any additional applications or software. Simply use a web browser,

  30. I think the transformation of Fenway Park’s indoor batting cage into The Bleacher Bar is a captivating story. This unique eatery and bar repurposes space within the iconic ballpark, offering fans and visitors an unforgettable dining experience.

    Lisa Smith OP’s @ Commercial cleaning services Melbourne

  31. https://scamsoldier.com/ offers a comprehensive review service to safeguard consumers from falling victim to scams. With meticulous attention to detail, they analyze products, services, and offers to identify red flags and potential scams.

  32. The legendary musician Taylor Swift was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, on December 13, 1989. She has established herself as a formidable singer-songwriter throughout the course of her successful career, enthralling listeners all over the world with her poignant words and catchy melodies. Swift’s ascent to fame started early in life, and since then, she has amassed a horde of devoted followers and published multiple albums that have reached the top of the charts. Her consistent honesty strikes a deep chord with fans, and her ability to reinvent herself with every album cycle demonstrates her versatility as an artist. Swift is well-known for her charitable work and support of causes like LGBTQ+ and gender equality in addition to her music. With her outstanding talent and captivating stage presence, Taylor Swift continues to inspire numerous people worldwide and create an enduring impression on the music business. This Taylor Swift Eras Tour Paris Orange Sequin Blazerlooks stunning on her. It’s time for you ladies to get the same blazer! Just place your purchase before we run out of stock, please!

  33. We take it upon ourselves to ensure customer satisfaction by providing outstanding essay writing services https://www.lunwenhelp.com/assignment-daixie/ . We maintain an actively attentive approach to listening to your needs and continuously optimize our services to ensure you achieve the best academic outcomes. Customer feedback is crucial to us and serves as the driving force behind our continuous improvement.

  34. The article is exceptionally well-written and thoroughly researched, showcasing the author’s expertise on the subject. The depth of insight and clarity in presenting complex ideas is truly impressive. The author’s ability to engage readers while providing valuable information is commendable. Overall, this piece stands out as a remarkable contribution to its field. See more Procedury FGaz

  35. Our Palo Alto Networks Certified Network Security Administrator (PAN-OS 10.0) Combo Package for which includes PDF (Printable Format) and Testing Engine (Works on Windows and MAC) which ensures you to go through all certification topics and provides you ultimate satisfaction to pass your exam in your first attempt.
    PCNSA questions answers

Post Your Comment