Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Raleigh's Old Baseball Stadium: Devereux Meadow

I dropped my son off for preschool this morning and took another trip to see another Carolina League ballpark.  This stadium was a little bit different than my trip to the Durham Athletic Park last weekend.  Devereux Meadows was home to the Raleigh Capitals and a few other teams between 1945 and 1971.  The stadium was abandoned and was demolished by the city of Raleigh in 1979.  The area was turned into a parking lot, but different people have told me that bits and pieces of the stadium still exist in between a few buildings and a parking lot that the city of Raleigh uses for their service vehicles.

I used Google Maps and Google Earth for a little bit of help with this post.  The stadium is not far from the intersection of Peace and West just west of downtown.  If you have hung around Raleigh for anytime it's about a block down from the Mellow Mushroom off of Glenwood Avenue.  From the street the old stadium site is accessible by walking in between these two buildings

The Anderson Sanitary Maintenance Building and.....

this building which is owned by the city of Raleigh and blocked by the trees in this street view picture from Google Maps......

Sorry the tree is there.  If you notice in the bottom picture there is a creek that runs in between the two building.  In order to get to the ballpark site you have to walk along with creek since the city of Raleigh has placed a barbed wire fence around their building and service vehicle parking lot.  The ballpark site is about 100 yards back from the street following the Pigeon House Branch Creek.  If you are into urban waterways, the article is a great read, but the third picture on the page shows this same area in between these buildings that was formerly part of the stadium.

The area looks like this from above.  The original grandstand area of Devereux Meadows is marked by the red circle on Google Earth picture below.

The majority of the playing surface is now taken up by the parking lot for the service vehicles and the fence was somewhere out near the road on the lefthand side of the Google Earth picture.  I found the picture below on several different sites around the internet, but it shows the view of Devereux Meadows facing the outfield from the press box.

There are no markers indicating that the area used to be a baseball stadium.  In fact, on my way back a few city workers asked me why I was walking around in the ally.  Apparently the area is a hang out for people other than baseball fans. We talked for a minute or two and sadly, the workers I talked to, did not know that this site had originally been a baseball stadium.  

This is what the area with the red circle on the Google Earth map looks like from street level.  I should say lot level.  I am sure that this hill is covered in kudzu or ivy or something that is dormant for the winter.  The bottom of the hill is lined with a small brown wall the majority of the way through the lot except for one small stretch which can be seen in towards the right side of the picture above or in the close up pictures below.

The whitish/grey wall here is about a twenty foot section of the retaining wall and is rumored to be the only piece of Devereux Meadow still standing.  The mortar in between the bricks is definitely worn and there are plumping pipes and the what not hanging out of the wall leading many, including myself, to believe that this was apart of a building.  The left side of this structure is wearing badly and looks like it could fall with a little help.  The bricks are weathered and are turning brown, especially in the middle.  There are several industrial businesses at the top of the hill, in particular a paving place and the sanitary maintenance company, which could also be lending in some chemicals to help with the wear on the wall.  

Turning around and looking out on to what would be the playing surface this is the view....

 A little disappointing I know.  The concrete in front of me is a walkway, but also houses the creek discussed in the pictures above.  It sad that a stadium that was once home to players like Enos Slaughter and Carl Yastrzemski met this fate, but there is a plan to turn this back into a green space again in the near future.  Personally, I would love to see the city of Raleigh put up a marker or plaque to mark the space as the former Devereux Meadows.

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