Albert A Garthwaite Stadium. Is it Still a Stadium?
Albert A Garthwaite Stadium, Is It Still a Stadium?
by Brian Coll
Many of you may have noticed some changes around East 11th Ave, they have been taking down the “A” Field wall. While it is commonly known as the “A” Field, it really is or at least was the Albert A Garthwaite Stadium. in 1947 Albert A Garthwaite of Lee Tire donated the money to renovate and really save the old Conshohocken Community Field between 11th and 12th Ave on the east side of Fayette Street.
You are looking at the old Conshohocken Community Field, now the “A” Field…. in the 30’s and 40’s there was a grand stand. It fell into disrepair and in 1947 Albert A Garthwaite stepped up and helped renovate the field or stadium……
It looked far different then, here is the current view…..
I would have rather seen them keep the wall around the stadium, I’m sure we’ll get used to the new look (not finished yet, you are looking at temporary fence and such) The borough just got done spending at least $200,000 on putting in pavers down at Sutcliffe Park, I know a new wall around the old stadium would have been more, but I’m sure there could have been a solution.
I know there are generations of people out there who either ran onto this field from the old locker rooms or cheered on a friend or loved one from the bleachers. Even the other uses are going to feel different going forward. The last event I was at the was the Conshohocken Music Festival, the headlining band grew up in Conshohocken and dreamed of playing at the stadium, I don’t know if a fenced in field draws the same comparison or maybe the dream would have been a little different. There was something cool about the stadium feel there that other places don’t have. Playing football there most of my young life it really felt special. I think it will feel a little more like other fields we would travel to. Conshohocken football teams definitely had a little intimidation factor because of the walls at the stadium.
Did you knw that the old professional football team in Conshohocken was invited to play in the NFL? In the infancy of the National Football League they came to Conshohocken to offer Conshohocken a spot in the NFL. At the time Conshohocken was coming off a few undefeated seasons and were an East Coast powerhouse They would have joined teams like Decatur Staleys (now the Chicago Bears) and the Chicago Cardinals who moved around before becoming the Arizona Cardinals. Conshohockens owner Bob Crawford had to decline because he wasn’t sure the borough could keep up with the other larger cities fields and fans. The talent of player was here in Conshohocken and West Conshohocken.
I believe the Conshohocken professional football team from 1919 hung in the National Football League Hall of Fame in Canton Ohio as the Eastern League Champs.
Back to the stadium, well, I guess we can’t really call it a stadium without walls….. but if you haven’t been there in awhile there is now a walking track around the field. That is something we are excited about. My dad Jack proposed it to borough council back in 2004-2005 and thought it would be a good way for people to get in some exercise without the fear of getting hit by a car while walking on Fayette Street or the avenues in the evening. It is something I brought up a few years ago here on Conshystuff. In addition to all the games over the years, the stadium has been home to the Funfest for a couple of years, a few kick ass concerts including Leon Russell, a number of fireworks displays over the years, the Conshohocken Beer Festival (coming up again soon) and other events. I know they will go on with the fence in place of the walls, but it just felt cooler, it was ours. It was Conshohocken.
Here are a few other photos of the “A” Field, or maybe I should call is one last time the Albert A Garthwaite Stadium, because I just don’t think it can be called a stadium going forward…..