M&D responded to the Revs’ bold objective of a fresh, more engaging space that would give patrons a unique experience and bring people in for different reasons.
For York Revolution President Eric Menzer, fielding a winning team starts with hiring smart baseball people.
The same strategy applies to designing an entirely new club space for the stadium and downtown York: hire talented architects.
“I admit, I initially thought we could re-do the White Rose Room into the new 1741 Club ourselves, but my theory was wrong,” he says of the newly opened venue in Peoples Bank Park. “It’s very clear to me the outcome from Murphy & Dittenhafer is immensely better than we could have done ourselves.”
Listening, working together key
The Revs initially hired M&D just to analyze the available space in the former White Rose Room to see if the team could accomplish its goal of a year-round, multi-purpose club.
“M&D looked at a dozen different ways of reconfiguring the space, studying the square footage, where the plumbing was — the unglamorous part of architecture,” Menzer says.
Frank Dittenhafer, II, FAIA, LEED AP, President of Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects, says his company responded to the Revs’ bold objective of a fresh, more engaging space that would give patrons a unique experience, and bring people in for different reasons.
Ultimately, the direction came from the top.
“Eric Menzer was the catalyst,” says Architect Patrick Ness. “He allowed us to push the envelope.”
Design pros built on team’s idea
M&D’s design team listened to the Revs to get the big picture of what the team might be able to accomplish, Dittenhafer recalls.
“The Revs also listened well, evaluated their options, and gave us good reactions,” he says.
The team wanted a year-round space that was more upscale, with a favorite restaurant or lounge feel, where fans could watch a game, or, outside of its 70-game schedule, groups or businesses could host larger events.
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“Like any business, the Revs need to adapt and grow,” Menzer adds. “We honor York’s historic and industrial character in many ways, but we wanted a contemporary space.”
As the process moved forward, M&D took the lead.
“We saw opportunities for design enhancements, and the project benefitted by us taking a strong leadership role in terms of the design,” Dittenhafer says. “We listened to what the Revs wanted, but design pros were needed.”
Gem of the stadium
Working within the existing space, M&D added a folded wood ceiling, a large glass wall, and a large sliding metal main door from a local warehouse’s freight elevator — along with the club’s name, subtle nods to York’s history.
“We put a lot of work into making this visually one space, but the user can find various ‘scenes’ with this one room that have a different look and feel,” Ness says. “We have pub height tables, a lounge area, you can sit at the bar, all within one visually connected space.”
M&D also created a room to one side with a lower acoustical ceiling, still part of the larger room but that can be rented separately.
“We have the central area with the folded-wood ceiling, but other areas have softer, carpeted floors. There are areas with different colors, patterns, and textures, adding to the feel of rooms within a room,” Dittenhafer notes. “You can’t take it all in at once. You see new things each time you’re there.”
Enhancing beyond the stadium
Both M&D and the Revs are big boosters of downtown York’s resurgence. Both also had creating a new reason to come downtown beyond baseball in mind with the redesigned 1741 Club, and the stadium’s updated Monarch and Solomon Suites.
“There were discussions about having this open year-round, making it another venue on First Fridays, and open to the public at certain times,” Dittenhafer says. “It’s a new place that’s about more than just baseball, and it was very much in mind the role this new place plays in downtown York.”
Dittenhafer credits Ness with developing 3-D images the Revs used to sell the club and depict its various niches, as well as noting how the firm worked closely with the Revs throughout the design.
“When it was done,” Dittenhafer recalls, “Eric said, ‘It looks exactly like the renderings!’”
For his part, Menzer credits the M&D team.
“People literally walk in and say, ‘Wow!’ Hiring Murphy and Dittenhafer was worth every penny.”