Passaic County freeholders have approved $200,000 for facade repairs to Hinchliffe Stadium, representing the latest investment in the effort to revive the ballpark.
The historic Paterson, NJ ballpark opened in 1932, hosting the New York Black Yankees and New York Cubans along the way. Hinchliffe Stadium was used for decades, but closed in 1997 and has since fallen into a state of decline–prompting efforts to revive the facility.
Last week, county freeholders allocated $200,000 toward the next phase of repairs to Hinchliffe Stadium’s facade. Though some officials questioned the expenditure, the funds will join a $500,000 national park service grant in helping to pay for a round of facade repairs that are expected to begin later this year. More from the Paterson Press:
The Passaic County freeholders voted last week to allocate the $200,000 from their open space fund for Hincliffe’s facade, just hours after city officials say a fire broke out at the vacant and crumbling structure. The blaze damaged some areas of Hinchliffe where work was done last summer as part of the first, $1.3 million phase of the Hinchliffe façade project.
“We spend this money and there’s just going to be another fire or someone is going come along and spray-paint it the next day,” said Paterson Councilman Michael Jackson, who represents the 1st Ward where the ballpark is located. “This money won’t benefit the youth of the city one bit.”
The federal government designated Hinchliffe a national landmark several years ago because of its status as one of handful of stadiums still standing where segregated Negro League baseball games were played in the mid-20th century. After falling into disrepair, Hinchliffe was closed in the 1990s.
Consultants hired by the city have estimated that it would cost more than $25 million to rebuild Hinchliffe so it can be used again.
Restoration efforts are notable in that Hinchliffe Stadium is one of the few Negro Leagues ballparks that remains standing.
RELATED STORIES: Hinchliffe Stadium Restoration Work Begins; Funds for Hinchliffe Stadium Repairs Get Preliminary Approval; Borrowing Measure for Hinchliffe Stadium Repairs Rejected; AmEX: $300K Grant for Hinchliffe Stadium Renovations; More Hinchliffe Stadium studies pitched