CLOSE PLAY AT FIRST, FENWAY PARK, 1934 Leslie Jones Collection, BPL Print Department.
A century ago, one of the most storied venues in sports history opened its gates, welcoming fans to Fenway Park. The baseball stadium that John Updike famously called “a lyric little bandbox” in 1960 has evolved since its first season in 1912, but its allure has persisted for generations of ever-faithful fans.
Built on mudflats at a cost of $650,000, Fenway Park was constructed for the new American League team in town, the Boston Red Sox. The ballpark’s unique layout reflects the asymmetrical parcel upon which it was built, and it is beloved by Sox players and fans—if not opposing teams—for its quirky architectural features, storied past, legendary athletes, and generations of poignant memories captured within its confines.
While Fenway has become synonymous with baseball, it has played host to an impressive range of other sports and events through the years, including professional football, soccer, and concerts. The oldest major league stadium still in use, Fenway Park has undergone a series of major renovations during the past century, yet stepping through its gates today still feels like stepping back in time.
View additional images of Fenway Park in the Boston Public Library’s collection on Flickr