This week many Chicagoans attended the annual Crosstown Classic to watch their favorite home teams compete. The Cubs and White Sox rivalry has existed for over a century, dating back to 1900.
Interestingly enough, these teams share a commonality than most people recognize. Both baseball parks were designed by Zachary Taylor Davis, the “Frank Lloyd Wright of baseball.” A draftsman for Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan, Davis learned from the best. He is also known for designing other Chicago buildings, including St. Ambrose, St. James Chapel of Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary, and Mount Carmel High School. Before designing the old White Sox Stadium formerly known as Old Comiskey Park, Davis toured ballparks around the country with White Sox pitcher Ed Walsh. At that time, all ballparks were constructed of wood, Davis defined an era by building stadiums from steel beams and concrete. Comiskey Park was completed in 1910 and it was the first kite-shaped park that had an industrial feel; blending in with the nearby factories and plants. After construction, Comiskey Park was billed as “the world’s greatest baseball palace.” In 1914, owner of the Chicago Whales, Charlie Weeghman hired Davis to construct Weeghman Park. Weeghman would go bankrupt and sell the ballpark to the Cubs franchise in 1916, eventually becoming Wrigley Field. The White Sox ballpark cost $500,000 to construct in comparison to Wrigley Park’s $250,000. Davis also oversaw the expansion of both ballparks.
Comiskey Park was the oldest major league ballpark before it was demolished in 1991. Wrigley Park is now the second oldest baseball park and the only remaining Federal League park. The year Comiskey was demolished, Wrigley and Comiskey were a combined 157 years old.