Discover / Hinchliffe Stadium
Save a National Treasure
REGION: Northeast
LOCATION:
Paterson, NJ
TYPE: Building
Hinchliffe is one of few remaining stadiums associated with Negro League baseball. Photo: Duncan Kendall
Hinchliffe is one of few remaining stadiums associated with Negro League baseball. Photo: Duncan Kendall
Opportunity
Stabilize Hinchliffe Stadium, beginning the work to return it to use as a fully-rehabilitated community asset.

Overview

Hinchliffe Stadium is one of the few remaining stadiums in the country associated with Negro League baseball. Built by the city from 1932-33 and owned by the Paterson Public Schools since 1963, it was closed in 1996 and fell victim to neglect and vandalism. In its heyday, the stadium hosted professional baseball and football games, high school athletic contests, auto racing, and rock concerts.

National Significance

Built of cast concrete in the Art Deco style, Hinchliffe Stadium is where Paterson Eastside High School athlete Larry Doby was discovered by the Newark Eagles in 1942. He went on to break the color barrier in the American League. The New York Black Yankees called this stadium home for 12 seasons. If informed by a preservation plan, stabilization work on this stadium could provide lessons for the rehabilitation of similar historic structures.

Campaign Goals

  • Develop and implement a community-based plan of action for the stabilization of Hinchliffe Stadium.

Ways To Help

Donate to our campaign to save Hinchliffe Stadium.

Tell us why Hinchliffe Stadium matters to you.

Posted on July 24, 2015

By the National Trust Team

American Express recently awarded Hinchliffe Stadium a $300,000 grant to restore two historic ticket booths at the front door of the stadium. The project is scheduled to start this fall.  In June, the Paterson Board of Education awarded a contract to the company Retail & Development Strategies to conduct a comprehensive market analysis and feasibility study of the stadium. This study is funded by a $197,000 federal grant secured by the late New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, and is slated to be completed by December 2015. It will identify long-term revenue uses to support preservation and maintenance. Currently, the stadium’s primary use is as a school sports facility, but the Board of Education is attempting to evaluate ways to make money from other community uses. They also hope that this will attract private investment from commercial developers, who would enter into a long-term lease agreement with the schools and city to operate the site.

Check out the latest news coverage regarding the Hinchliffe Stadium restoration!

North Jersey: Paterson Mayor Sets Bold Goal of Finishing Hinchliffe Stadium Restoration in Three Years 

Please check back often for additional updates on Hinchliffe Stadium. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

Posted on May 20, 2015

Jessica PumphreyBy Jessica Pumphrey, Team Member

Preservation New Jersey recently announced their list of top 10 endangered historic places and included Hinchliffe Stadium under the ‘Historic sites Hurt by Lack of Public Funding,’ listing.

From the article –

Historic sites hurt by lack of public funding — In November, voters approved an amendment to the state constitution dedicating funds from the corporate business tax to preserve open space, farmland and historic resources. Gov. Chris Christie's budget announced in February recommends $1.4 million for the New Jersey Historic Trust, which preservationists say is not enough to sustain and staff the grant program.

Sites most threatened by a lack of public funding include the Ewing Presbyterian Church, also known as the 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing, the Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, one of three existing stadiums associated with the Negro League baseball games, and the 1759 Vought House in Clinton.

Check out the full listing, here.

Please check back often for additional updates on Hinchliffe Stadium. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

Posted on December 18, 2014

Excerpted from NorthJersey.com:

To North Jersey members of Congress, Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson is a symbol of a dark time in American history and needs to be preserved. To U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, it is a symbol of what’s wrong with Congress. The Senate overwhelmingly voted against Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, on Friday. Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, praised the stadium’s preservation in a statement.“Hinchliffe Stadium represents an irreplaceable piece of our nation’s history,” she said. “Some of our nation’s greatest athletes took to the field there and courageously led the movement to integrate professional sports — and our country as a whole.”

More about Hinchliffe Stadium >>

Read the full story >>

Posted on December 05, 2014

Excerpted from NJ.com:

Hinchliffe Stadium, one of only three Negro League ballparks still standing, would be added to the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park under a provision added by U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-9th Dist.) to the National Defense Authorization Act. The National Park Service has designated Hinchliffe as a National Historic Landmark. In 2010, the National Trust for Historic Preservation listed the stadium as one of the country's most endangered historic places.

More on Hinchliffe Stadium >>

Read the full story >>

Posted on November 19, 2014

Jessica Pumphrey Written by Jessica Pumphrey, Team Member

This month, the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park celebrates its 3rd birthday. Known as one of the largest waterfalls in the United States, Great Falls has played a significant role in the early industrial development of our country. Over the years, both federal and local partnerships have been a leading force to ensuring the national park is rehabilitated and open to the public.

Just parallel to the Great Falls area is historic Hinchliffe Stadium – the only National Historic Landmark in baseball and one of few remaining stadiums in the country that played host to the Negro Leagues. In late July, the House of Representatives unanimously passed the Hinchliffe Stadium Heritage Act (H.R. 2430), which ensures that Hinchliffe Stadium will be a part of the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park.

In the article, Marking Three Years, Paterson's National Park Looks Ahead, Park Service Superintendent, Darren Boch, states how including Hinchliffe Stadium to the national park area would mean that Great Falls National Historical Park would be the only national park that recognized sports as a main attraction. The bill is currently in the Senate awaiting consideration. To find out more about this bill to include Hinchliffe Stadium in the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park area, visit http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2013/6/s-1189.

Please check back often for additional updates on Hinchliffe Stadium. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

Posted on June 06, 2014

Written by Brent Leggs, Project Manager for Hinchliffe Stadium National Treasure

What funding options are available to help save large scale preservation projects? Is there a local or state financing option available to advance the restoration and rehabilitation of significant historic places? The answer is yes. Bond financing is a powerful tool used to help save historic resources across the country. Learn about Paterson, New Jersey’s long history of utilizing bond financing to construct Hinchliffe Stadium in 1932 and how funds are being used today to stabilize the structure. Read the Forum Journal Blog post Using Public Bonding to Save Hinchliffe Stadium written by Gianfranco Archimede, Director of the Paterson Historic Preservation Commission.

Please check back often for additional updates on Hinchliffe Stadium. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

Posted on June 04, 2014

Jessica Pumphrey Written by Jessica Pumphrey, Team Member

The buzz continues to grow around our April, Hinchliffe Stadium Clean Up event! Thank you to Ebony magazine who recently published a thought-provoking article about our work to restore the sports arena and the importance of  preserving the story of Negro League Baseball in our country.  To see the article, go here - http://goo.gl/82scac.

Please check back often for additional updates on Hinchliffe Stadium . Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

Posted on June 03, 2014

Excerpt from Ebony.com

“I’m hoping we can create a very sustainable and lasting partnership with Major League Baseball that also wants to engage more urban youth in the actual sport of baseball, said Brent Leggs of National Trust for Historic Preservation. “ If you look at the statistics, the numbers have dwindled since the integration of baseball and the close of the Negro Leagues – we’re almost back at that level. I would love for Hinchliffe Stadium to be an active and viable baseball venue through a partnership with MLB, where young African-American and Latinos can play and be a part of history.”

Read the full story on Ebony.com...

Posted on May 12, 2014

Jessica Pumphrey Written by Jessica Pumphrey, Team Member

Last month, the National Trust alongside the City of Paterson and the Hinchliffe Stadium Steering Committee, hosted more than 700 volunteers for a community cleanup event! We began the day with the National Historic Landmark Ceremony where Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Negro League Historian, Dr. Larry Hogan and President of the Negro League Museum, Bob Kendrick all spoke in support of this renowned stadium.   Following the ceremony, volunteers from all across the tri-state area band together, picked up paint brushes and began removing the graffiti that had for so long covered the stadium. After two coats, the stadium looked brand new!

We would like to thank all of our dedicated volunteers for coming out to Hinchliffe Stadium to help us bring hope back to this iconic place. Check out some of the pictures from the day and let us know what Hinchliffe Stadium means to you – here!

Stay tuned for more exciting news on our work to preserve this National Treasure!

Please check back often for additional updates on Hinchliffe Stadium. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

Posted on April 02, 2014

Jessica Pumphrey Written by Jessica Pumphrey, Team Member

As the country continues to celebrate Major League Baseball’s opening day, we thought it appropriate to show our appreciation for MLB’s continued commitment to telling the story of Negro League Baseball and its impact on our nation.  MLB Hall of Famer, Larry Doby was one of many former negro league players who perfected their game at Hinchliffe Stadium. Doby and others took to the field in Paterson, bringing the community together and shining a light on sports in our country during a time of segregation.
 
Take a video tour of the MLB’s Negro League Baseball Museum which is located in Kansas City, Missouri.

Posted on March 25, 2014

Written by Brent Leggs, Project Manager for Hinchliffe Stadium National Treasure

To honor Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby, the Hinchliffe Stadium Steering Committee will hold an all-volunteer community event on Wednesday, April 16th at Hinchliffe Stadium. We need between 300-500 volunteers to help paint the stadium to remove the graffiti and give new life to Paterson’s field of dreams. We have a full day planned and the run of show is below.

Volunteer registration begins at 9:00 a.m.

  • 10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. National Historic Landmark ceremony
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Paint Group A paints 1st coat on Hinchliffe Stadium
  • 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. 7th Inning Stretch Event (Q/A with Negro League player/historian & Community photograph with all volunteers and attendees)
  • 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Paint Group B paints 2nd coat on Hinchliffe Stadium
  • 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Clean up
  • 4:00 p.m. – End

Once volunteers sign up, they will be assigned to paint groups of 40 volunteers. Each group is named after a former Negro League team. For attendees not painting, come and enjoy the free food and t-shirts, car show, information booths, a social media corner, art projects, an oral history booth to collect personal stories, and more. 

This project celebrates Hinchliffe Stadium’s significance as the only National Historic Landmark in baseball and the thousands of forgotten players, coaches, owners, umpires, and administrators from the Negro Leagues. Be part of the effort to save history!

Please check back often for additional updates on Hinchliffe Stadium. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

Posted on February 28, 2014

Jessica Pumphrey Written by Jessica Pumphrey, Team Member

On February 12, we ventured to Paterson, New Jersey to meet with our partners and other key city officials to discuss details of the April 16 community clean up event (see photos below).  Plans to honor the memory of Larry Doby and others at Hinchliffe are well underway and we are excited to continue our collaboration efforts with the City of Paterson, Board of Education, and the Friends of Hinchliffe.

Check back for more details on the event and YOU can lend hand! To donate to the Hinchliffe Stadium National Treasure, click here.

     

Posted on February 26, 2014

Written by Brent Leggs, Project Manager

Major League Baseball is celebrating its leadership role in the integration of professional sports with “Jackie Robinson Day” on April 15th. Jackie Robinson integrated baseball in 1947 with the National League’s Brooklyn Dodgers. Nearly three months later, Larry Doby would also break baseball’s color barrier when he joined the American League’s Cleveland Indians.

To commemorate Robinson and Doby, the National Trust, the City of Paterson, and the Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium will hold an all-volunteer community event on Wednesday, April 16th at Hinchliffe Stadium.

As a co-sponsor, the National Trust is launching a new initiative to introduce the preservation field to a wider audience and protect historic places. Named "HOPE Crew" for “Hands-On-Preservation-Experience,” the Hinchliffe project has the potential for an estimated 500 volunteers of all ages to paint the interior of the stadium. The effort will remove the graffiti and give new life to the vacant structure.

To learn more about Larry Doby’s impact on major league baseball and to see a clip of his Hall of Fame Induction speech, check out this article by Fox Sports that ran earlier this month.

Be sure to check back for more information on how YOU can lend a hand in the restoration of Hinchliffe Stadium!

Posted on January 14, 2014

With the Super Bowl right around the corner, everyone is looking for things to do in northern New Jersey while they wait for the big game. One of the recommendations from the Associated Press is Hinchliffe. In an article first spotted on Yahoo! Sports, reporter David Porter says:

“Nearby is Hinchliffe Stadium, a national landmark and once-grand Art Deco stadium that in its heyday was filled to capacity for Negro League baseball games featuring future Hall of Famers Larry Doby and Monte Irvin and teams like the New York Black Yankees, the New York Cubans and Newark Eagles.”

Read more of his pre-game recommendations or learn about Hinchliffe and how you can help.

Posted on January 10, 2014

Written by Brent Leggs, Project Manager

Wank Adams Slavin Associates (WASA Studio) based in NYC has prepared an interim report on the partial rehabilitation and stabilization of historic Hinchliffe Stadium and athletic field. WASA was hired by the City of Paterson to provide materials and geotechnical testing, environmental analysis, and a design proposal for reuse options.

Ten test borings were drilled with more field work expected soon. The borings were advanced to depths between 2.5 to 37 feet below the existing grade. Their early findings reveal that the cost for materials and installation of a new synthetic surface field is estimated to be $1,200,000. The projected cost for a new rubberized track surface is estimated to be $300,000. The final report will be completed by the end of February.

The project remains on schedule and we anticipate construction will begin in the fall. Stay tuned.

Please check back often for additional updates on Hinchliffe Stadium. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure. - See more at: http://www.savingplaces.org/treasures/hinchliffe-stadium

 

 

Posted on May 17, 2013

Head shot for Brent LeggsWritten by Brent Leggs, Project ManagerGame at Hinchliffe Stadium

The preservation train in Paterson is moving full-speed ahead. After a three-year battle to locally designate Hinchliffe Stadium http://savingplaces.org/treasures/hinchliffe-stadium, the City Council approved its inclusion on the Paterson Register of Historic Places. This preservation win required consistent leadership from Paterson’s Historical Commission staff and local advocates to educate civic leaders about the consequences of local designation. As preservationists, we understand that perseverance is the key to igniting our cause locally.

Paterson is learning that its future revitalization and re-imagined identity is rooted in the protection of their historic assets. We applaud the Paterson City Council members for taking one more step towards rebuilding their community.  

Please check back often for additional updates on Hinchliffe Stadium. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

Posted on March 27, 2013

--Written by Walter Gallas, Project Manager

On March 11, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Director of the National Park Service Jonathan B. Jarvis announced the designation of 13 new National Historic Landmarks (NHLs), including Hinchliffe Stadium

Earlier, in February, the grant agreement between the New Jersey Historic Trust, the City of Paterson, Paterson Public Schools, and the Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium was signed. The work of confecting the RFP for design and construction for the $1 million-plus rehabiliatation and stabilization project is the responsibility of the city's public works director and the schools' facilities director. At the Steering Committee's March 26 meeting, we began the discussion about the basic things the community will need to to do in order to develop a capital campaign to raise the remaining funds for the stadium's rehabilatation. This month, the Paterson School Board endorsed the local landmarking of the stadium, and the City Council began the process of passing the ordinance to make this a reality.

With my departure from the National Trust at the end of March, Brent Leggs of the Boston Field Office will become the project manager for Hinchliffe Stadium. It's been a pleasure working on this National Treasure.

Please check back often for additional updates on Hinchliffe Stadium. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

 

Posted on November 30, 2012

Written by Walter Gallas, Project Manager

This week we learned that Hinchliffe Stadium took another step toward designation as a National Historic Landmark, a distinction it will share with only about 2,500 other places around the U.S., and as a surviving site with a rare association— National Negro Leagues baseball in the 1930s and 40s.

Hinchliffe StadiumA National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a federal designation for places that have "exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States," according to the National Park Service, which oversees this program.

The National Park System Advisory Board, at its meeting on November 28, accepted the recommendation of its National Landmarks Committee, leaving Hinchliffe poised to be designated officially sometime next year.

I joined members of the Hinchliffe Steering Committee and other supporters from Paterson as the National Landmarks Committee met earlier in November in Washington, D.C., and we testified in support of HInchliffe's designation.

What will NHL designation mean for Hinchliffe Stadium? The recognition could increase the stadium's (and Paterson's) national profile, making support for the rehabilitation of the stadium in a preservation-sensitive way a greater likelihood than ever before.

Please check back often for additional updates on Hinchliffe Stadium. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

Posted on November 30, 2012

Written by Walter Gallas, Project Manager

Hinchliffe Stadium achieved a major milestone on the way to its initial rehabilitation with the unanimous vote of the City Council on November 27 to expend $1 million in previously bonded funds for the stadium. This was accomplished through some great teamwork among the Hinchliffe Steering Committee members.

Hinchliffe StadiumWe made successful presentations to Mayor Jones and School Superintendent Evans and to the City Council the week before. Then, Gianfranco Archimede, director of the Paterson Historic Preservation Commission, shepherded the necessary Council resolution document through the legal hoops ahead of Tuesday’s vote. A number of the committee members came to testify in support of Hinchliffe—myself; Brian Lopinto of Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium;  Alex Mendez  of the school board; and Gianfranco Archimede. Committee member Chris Coke, director of Paterson’s Department of Public Works, also attended.

Also at the City Council to support us were:  Kenneth Simpson of the Historic Preservation Commission; School Board president Chris Irving; and K.C. Melvin of B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S. of Paterson.

This feat is substantial leverage for a $500,000 grant secured by the Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium from the New Jersey Historic Trust.  Next step: We go before the full school board. 

Please check back often for additional updates on Hinchliffe Stadium. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

Posted on July 20, 2012

Written by Walter Gallas, Project Manager

I’m Walter Gallas, the National Trust’s project manager for Hinchliffe Stadium. I will be providing you updates on our progress as we work to begin the stabilization of this important place.

The National Trust’s involvement and leadership has been welcomed by Paterson’s mayor, by the Paterson Public Schools superintendent, and by the Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium. We are building on relationships that began with the naming of the stadium in 2010 to the National Trust’s annual list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

We have formed a local steering committee made up of representatives of the above partners, and are creating a plan of action that will make the stadium stabilization a reality. Critical to our work is a preservation plan for Hinchliffe, which is in the final stages of preparation by the consulting firm of Watson & Henry Associates. The next meeting of our committee is on July 24. I will let you know how it goes.

Please check back often for additional updates on Hinchliffe Stadium. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

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Catherine Hinchliffe Aliotta on June 03, 2014
My grandfather was John V Hinchliffe, former Mayor of Paterson during the Great Depression, and he was the person who had it built. It was named after his Uncle James Hinchliffe who was also Mayor of Paterson during the first decade of the 1900's. It was the first mayor of Paterson who was mayor during the great fire of Paterson around 1903 and also the great flood of Paterson around 1904. After James Hinchliffe was no longer Mayor of Paterson, he was a New Jersey Senator. By the way, during the great fire and flood periods, he did everything he could to get the people of Paterson places to live and work after many buildings were totally distroyed. It was him who Hinchliffe Stadium was named after.
WALTER LeVINE on April 18, 2014
LARRY DOBY PLAYED BASEBALL FOR MY FATHER'S SEMI-PRO TEAM (UNCLE SAM'S SHOES) WHILE ATTENDING EAST SIDE, MY FATHER'S TEAMS PLAYED FOR MANY YEARS AT THE STADIUM, BEFORE HOLDING SUNDAY GAMES AT EASTSIDE PARK. IT WAS WHILE PLAYING FOR HIS TEAM THAT HE WAS DISCOVERED BY THE NEWARK EAGLES. THE REST IS HISTORY. IT IS ALSO RUMORED THAT LOU COSTELLO PERFECTED HIS BASEBALL ROUTINE "WHO'S ON FIRST" WHILE ANNOUNCING THESE GAMES AT THE STADIUM. MAYBE SOME OF PATERSON'S OLDTIMERS MIGHT RECALL THESE EVENTS.
Elizabeth Cuba on April 17, 2014
I Love Paterson!!! Many great memories with my grandmother and family. All the festivals, the football games,entertainment with live bands,which my uncle Nelson was a part of.I graduated from hichcliff turf in 1990 from Kennedy high school, now soon I can share all my memories with my grandchild and make them a reality.
Cal Ripken, Jr., National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 05, 2012
Hinchliffe Stadium’s role in the Negro Leagues and the legendary players who played there are not just significant to the history of baseball, but to the history of segregation, race relations and the integration of society in the United States. It deserves the opportunity to be restored into a place where tomorrow’s youth will be able to walk in the footsteps of yesterday’s legends, and experience the history of the country first-hand.
Brian Lopinto, Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium, Paterson, NJ on July 05, 2012
Growing up two blocks away from where over 20 baseball Hall of Famers played is a baseball fan's dream. While there are artifacts that pertain to the Negro Leagues at the baseball Hall of Fame, Hinchliffe Stadium is where the games were played. It is a tangible piece of African-American history.

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