Stories from Paterson: Exploring the Visions of a Rehabilitated Hinchliffe Stadium

Kathryn Doyle, Fordham University


This thesis explores stakeholder visions of Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, New Jersey. One of the only extant sites associated with Negro Leagues baseball in the United States, the stadium sits within the boundaries of the Great Falls National Historical Park. The stadium is the centerpiece of a nearly $100 million development project slated for completion in 2022. The public-private partnership project partners are the private-sector development team, the City of Paterson, and the Paterson Board of Education, the latter of which is the official owner of the stadium. The project will rehabilitate the historic stadium after more than 20 years of vacancy and restore it for use by the school district, community, and the developers. This research explores storytelling as a discursive social process that contributes to the construction of communities and places. Examining the different discursive claims of a range of project stakeholders, the thesis offers perspective on the Hinchliffe Stadium redevelopment in the context of contemporary urban development dynamics. Informed by interdisciplinary scholarship and drawing on interviews as the primary source of data, this thesis explores perceptions of the stadium and city over time, among residents and non-residents, and investigates what its revitalization signifies for the future of the Paterson community and beyond. This study illustrates some points of contention, but indicates broad support for the project among research participants. This contrasts with examples of contemporary community resistance to large-scale development projects. In so doing, it underscores that different sites, though they may reflect broader trends, reveal their own histories and characteristics. The objective of this thesis is to offer an understanding of the processes of change that are currently underway in Paterson as a lens for evaluating their social and spatial implications. This thesis also aims to contribute to existing scholarship on historic preservation and urban development in small and mid-sized post-industrial cities.

Subject Area

Urban planning|History

Recommended Citation

Doyle, Kathryn, "Stories from Paterson: Exploring the Visions of a Rehabilitated Hinchliffe Stadium" (2021). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28963302.