Venerable Wahconah Park, longtime home to pro baseball in Pittsfield, Mass., and now home to the summer-collegiate Pittsfield Suns (Futures League), is in sore need of restoration because of deteriorating conditions in the grandstand.
Baseball has been played at the site since 1892. Opening in 1919, the wooden Wahconah Park grandstand was closed for Suns play this summer because of deteriorating conditions. It’s a unique venue with the grandstand facing west, leading to plenty of 20-minute sun breaks during games over the decades because of batters directly facing the sun. (That issue was lessened in recent years with the installation of a screen.) It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.
The deteriorating conditions caused the city to shut down the grandstand for the 2022 Suns season, with the subsequent appointment of a Wahconah Park Restoration Committee. That committee will map the course of action, first issuing a RFP for a consultant, determining the scope of repairs and then potentially hiring an architect and contractor to implement the repairs. The project is expected to address changes both on the player side (clubhouses) and the fan side (restrooms, concessions, etc.).
“Next, we get a consultant to hopefully give us some professional advice. As much as we all have an opinion, I think a professional’s opinion is needed here,” [committee chairman Earl Persip III] told the Berkshire Eagle after a tour of the ballpark. “We need to do this right one way or the other. This is a once in all of our lifetimes opportunity to make something special happen down here, and I want to see that happen.”
Photo courtesy Pittsfield Suns.