Architect wants baseball diamond to shine |

Architect wants baseball diamond to shine

Butler officials hope a Slippery Rock architect can polish a rough diamond in Butler.

Improvements to Pullman Park — which in its prime was home to minor league baseball teams for three decades — could make the park more attractive to a minor league team in the future and could lead a rejuvenation of the west end of the city, architect Lee Ligo said Tuesday.

Ligo is being paid $14,600 to devise plans for expanding the park’s seating to 4,200 from the current 1,200 as well as building new locker rooms, a press box, a concession area and private boxes.

Kelly Adamczyk, a spokeswoman for the Redevelopment Authority for the city of Butler, said minor league parks in Altoona, Erie and Washington have been successes.

Adamczyk said the entire wish list for improving the stadium could cost $4 million, half of which could come from the city and half from the state. Funding has not been secured.

The Pullman Park Board of Trust, which has been caring for and maintaining the field since a Pittsburgh Pirates farm club left town in the 1950s, got a $150,000 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, but Adamczyk said much of that money has been devoted to electrical work at the park.

Tom Burnatoski, a member of the Pullman Park Board of Trust, said New York Yankees Hall of Famers Whitey Ford and Joe DiMaggio were among those who played at Pullman Park, which was built in 1934.

The park is wedged in between homes and old industrial buildings, behind Pullman Center business park and near AK Steel Co. facilities.

About 200 collegiate, scholastic and league games are played there each year.

Baseball teams from Butler High School, Butler County Community College baseball team, the American Legion and other organizations play at the field each year, said Burnatoski, who is working at the field despite having quadruple bypass heart surgery 50 days ago.

Ligo said the preliminary design could be completed by early November.

He said attracting a minor league team might be a lofty goal, but even if a minor league team never shows up, Butler will have “a fine community facility.”

The trust has been able to pay for upkeep of for the park through rental fees and concession sales, trust President William Spawn said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.