At the corner of Addison & Clark sits one of the greatest places you could ever watch a game - Chicago's historic Wrigley Field. It has hosted generation after generation of faithful Cubs fans, but the last major renovation took place in 1927. Wrigley is bursting at the seams, and needs some help. This is where the Triangle comes in.
The Triangle Building occupies a site directly adjacent to the existing stadium - just west of the third-base grandstand. Home to a coal-yard when Wrigley was constructed, this site has stood largely vacant for the past 50 years & served mainly as a patchwork parking lot for the stadium. It's proximity offers the quickest way to help relieve some of the stress on Wrigley - if many of the support functions currently housed around the concourse are moved into the Triangle Building, it allows the existing stadium to be used purely for baseball. And it makes Wrigley an even better stadium.
The two lower floors are arranged around the Triangle Atrium - a two-story space that expands inward from from the newly reopened Seminary Avenue. A wide staircase leads fans up to the Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame - a tribute to the team, the players, and us fans whose dedication to a life of anguish borders on insanity at times. Leaving the Hall fans pass through the spacious Cubs Pro Shop where they can "own a piece of history," or something like that. (Yeah, it sounds cheesy. But face it, the team has to make money to win ... or, hmm well, at least it can't hurt our chances.) These spaces are accessible from both Clark Street and Seminary Avenue throughout the year, while on gamedays the Clark Street entrance is closed making this entire area part of the stadium - fans are free to come and go as if it were part of the concourse. On the ground floor, new ticket windows for the stadium occupy the "point" of the Triangle near the current stadium entrance.
Greatly improved offices for the Cubs management staff are spread throughout the second and third floors - bridged directly to the stadium allowing easy access back-and-forth during the game for employees. Our major league team is currently run out of some cubicles crammed into space behind the marquee, and a few temporary trailers in the parking lot. Seriously. This is no way to run a team - the employees team deserve the same great experience that fans find inside Wrigley everyday.
The rooftop is for the fan. Covered with a wide-open terrace, it is ringed with food & beer carts during games & available for events throughout the year. The terrace is connected directly to the stadium's upper deck through the existing dormers, making it an extension of the concourse for fans. It's height & location offer clear views down Clark Street towards the Loop.
The entire Triangle Building is situated roughly 35' away from the existing stadium - restoring the city street grid along Seminary Avenue. On gamedays, this street is gated off & treated as an extension of the stadium concourse - similar to Boston's Yawkey Way. The rest of the year Seminary Avenue is open as a pedestrian street. It offers a much-needed venue for public gatherings, and helps handle the crush of fans leaving the main gate after games.
The Tribune Company had loose plans to construct a glorified parking garage on the Triangle site when they owned the team. A site along Grace Street now offers a better location for parking & a bus terminal, which means the Triangle can - and should - be used for something much better. It can improve the area for everyone with a stake in the Cubs - better facilities for the team, a better experience for fans, and a better neighbor for Lakeview.
Over the next few weeks I'll try to expand on the design - it deserves a much deeper explanation of each of the floor plans, the style of the elevations, and what I think a building like this could accomplish. Some things here could have been done better, others will likely be built much worse by the Cubs someday. But at least this design offers a start - a point of reference for discussing what the Triangle should become. Check out the design, and let me know what you think!
All of us fans deserve a better Wrigley. Just maybe it'll help us win a few more games, too ...