Kansas City Based Architecture and Design Firm, Pendulum Studio in Partnership with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Just Released an Innovative Design Concept for the Nation’s Only Negro Leagues Campus
Kansas City, MO – May 4, 2023 – As an architect having a meaningful role in 29 ballparks and counting since 1995, Pendulum’s founding principal and CEO Jonathan O’Neil Cole has an undeniable expertise in the ballpark building type and a passion for the game of baseball.
When Cole spent time with the great Buck O’Neil in 2005 as documented by our recent story “Hanging with Mr. Buck O’Neil”, it is evident Buck made a major impression on how Cole sees the game. Fast-forward to May 2, 2023 when the who’s who of Kansas City including Congressman Emanuel Cleaver; Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas; Frank White Jr., Jackson County Executive; Kathy Nelson, President & CEO, Kansas City Sports Commission; and John Sherman, Chairman & CEO Kansas City Royals gathered at the NLBM Field of Legends to unveil an innovative new vision for a Negro Leagues Campus designed by Pendulum Studio and announce the award of a $1 million grant from Bank of America by Matt Linski, president, Bank of America Kansas City, the crowd went wild!
The new state of the art facility will be built adjacent to the Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center (BOERC) which will now be housed in the former Paseo YMCA. That historic building is where Andrew “Rube” Foster established the Negro Leagues in 1920. With help from the anchor grant, the new NLBM, in combination with the BOERC, will create a “Negro Leagues Campus” that will become the gateway into Kansas City’s famed Historic 18th & Vine District.
“I’ve designed quite a few ballparks over the tenure of my career. After founding Pendulum in 2007 there’s not a day that passes without something related to baseball being on my drafting table. The opportunity for my firm to lead the way in not only honoring the history of the game, especially as it relates to the African American experience and the legends of the past, but to also look ahead to the future through innovation, technology, and design is an incredible honor and weighty responsibility – we are very appreciative of Mr. Kendrick and the NLBM Board’s confidence in Pendulum as this project gets underway,” said Cole.
The images below are a very brief glimpse of the collaborative design process that has taken place to date between NLBM stakeholders and Pendulum. There is still plenty of work to be done. As the project progresses there will be much more to see so stay tuned!
For More Information
Please visit the NLBM “Pitch for the Future” landing page for a showcase of the Pendulum virtual reality design and an opportunity to donate to this worthy cause.
Our CEO Jonathan O’Neil Cole had the privilege of hanging with Mr. Buck O’Neil and Mr. Bob Kendrick at the 2005 Baseball Winter Meetings in Dallas, TX – It was a day he’ll never forget!
This is the story of how Buck’s light shined so bright that it inspired a chain reaction of events that continue to resonate 17 years later. Pendulum’s collaboration with Mr. Sean Kane on the Buck O’Neil tribute painted glove was incredibly special. The images below are the illustrator’s design notes as we progressed through the process of design.
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In addition to the Buck O’Neil Tribute Glove, Pendulum commissioned Sean Kane to paint a tribute to Hank Greenberg pictured below.
The Look Ahead
While many organizations use this time of year to reflect on past accomplishments, Pendulum’s focus is straight ahead. We are committed to more dynamic collaborations with incredibly talented and passionate creatives. Stay tuned for several major announcements first quarter 2023.
Pendulum is honored to share that our Downtown Kansas City Royals ballpark village concept has been awarded a Rethinking The Future (@rthinkingfuture) 2022 Architecture, Construction & Design Award for Sports & Recreation.
The Small Big Idea
With the development and growth of downtown Kansas City in recent years the “what if” question pops up often as it relates to the possibility of the Kansas City Royals moving downtown. In late 2019 Pendulum CEO Jonathan O’Neil Cole challenged the Pendulum staff to dream a little and answer the question “what if” with an expert analysis of existing surface lots in an area of downtown Kansas City known as East Village.
“Pendulum designs sports anchored campuses across the nation, the latest being Cool Today Park, the spring training home of the Atlanta Braves located in North Port, Florida . The potential of the Royals moving downtown has been the elephant in the room for quite some time, a very uncomfortable conversation that not very many people wanted to have in the past. I saw the opportunity to explore the idea being just several blocks from our headquarters, it was a great team building exercise,” said Cole.
On January 30, 2020 Pendulum made our unsanctioned response to “what if” public with the statement: “The ballpark of the future will engage the community.” From our perspective and professional experience a ballpark village should create opportunities for community development beyond baseball. It should be a hub of commerce and pedestrian activity. While passionate feedback from both sides of the debate ensued, the future from Royals stakeholder perspectives had been quiet.
On November 15, 2022 Kansas City Royals Chairman and CEO John Sherman issued an open letter to Kansas City that made his thoughts on the subject very clear. In his letter Mr. Sherman issued conceptual images of a vision for downtown Kanas City that reinforced a number of Pendulum’s initial thoughts – a proof in concept that we were on the right rack. As the conversation continues we look to the future with optimism and, we will continue to influence a narrative of progress and community advancement. As the old adage goes, “people hate change but love progress.”
Many thanks to Rethinking The Future and the Jury Panel for their hard work and consideration. It is humbling and an absolute honor to be recognized by our international design peers.
The Pendulum Ballpark Village Concept in the News
RTF Awards Invites Architects and Interior Designers from across the world to submit their built/concept projects
“Rethinking The Future Awards program aims to bring exceptional works in the field of Architecture the prestige they deserve. The objective of these awards is to raise awareness around the strategies Architects and Designers are employing to deal with the contemporary global challenges, and to bring the best of such projects into the light to inspire the next generation”
Pendulum gives back to Gastonia Community Kids & Local Heroes
Gastonia Honey Hunters
Gastonia, NC – June 10, 2021– The Gastonia Honey Hunters Baseball Team announced a new initiative that will positively impact communities in Gastonia. Jonathan Cole, Founding Principal of Pendulum Studio, and architect of the CaroMont Ballpark in the FUSE District has entered into an agreement with the Team to purchase season tickets, which will be donated to deserving students or local heroes in the City.
The initiative titled, “Mayor’s Choice Presented by Pendulum” is a three-year commitment for four (4) season tickets to Honey Hunters home games. The seats are located on the front row directly behind home plate, which will provide attendees with the ultimate baseball game experience. In partnership with the City of Gastonia, deserving youth and local residents will be selected to attend each game.
“I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Cole for this substantial contribution to the Gaston community,” said Gastonia’s Mayor Walker E. Reid, III. “Our residents are a precious resource, and it is important that we work together as a community to help them see that they have our support.”
One of the leading minds in the sports facility design world, Jonathan Cole has led design efforts on over 28 minor league ballparks across the nation in the past 25 years.
“We are thrilled to announce our newest community-based initiative and we are delighted to assist the underserved in our community,” said Team Owner Brandon Bellamy. “Through this partnership, we are grateful to Jonathan Cole and Pendulum to be able to provide local residents and youth with this incredible experience.”
Mr. Cole said that the partnership between the City, Brandon Bellamy, and the Honey Hunters inspired him to invest in Gastonia’s future that starts with the youth, specifically youth that may never have had the opportunity to experience a professional sporting event from the front row.
“During the past three years Pendulum has worked with the City of Gastonia, I’ve been impressed with Mayor’s Reid’s consistent vision for the city’s growth and development,” said Jonathan Cole, Pendulum Founding Principal. “The Mayor and Brandon Bellamy have always put emphasis on the fact that the ballpark is for everyone. It is my commitment to build bridges and develop emotional muscle memory that encourages the community to give back to others when they can.”
The donation represents an ongoing commitment by Pendulum Studio to provide support that assists vulnerable populations, which has historically included financial assistance toward disaster relief and recovery, promoting positive relationship skills, and building mental health resiliency.
To nominate a deserving youth or recognize a local hero in the Gaston community, click here.
About Gastonia Honey Hunters Baseball: Located in Gastonia, NC, just minutes west of Charlotte, the Gastonia Honey Hunters is one of the newest teams in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB). The Atlantic League is the first Professional Partner League of Major League Baseball, a leader in baseball innovation, and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Led by team owner, Brandon Bellamy, a passionate and purpose-driven real estate entrepreneur and CEO of The Velocity Companies, Honey Hunters Baseball aims to provide Gaston County with family-friendly entertainment and first-rate baseball, taking the field for its inaugural season in 2021. The newly-constructed 5,000-seat FUSE ballpark is the team’s home field, offering fans an intimate and memorable experience, as well as a year-long calendar of exciting events, including concerts, sporting events and community celebrations. For more information on Honey Hunters Baseball, please visit www.GoHoneyHunters.com. To sign up for Honey Hunters announcements, please join our mailing list here. Instagram: @GoHoneyHunters; Twitter: @GoHoneyHunters; Facebook: /GoHoneyHunters
About Jonathan O’Neil Cole AIA, NCARB, NOMA: Jonathan O’Neil Cole is the founding principal of Pendulum Studio, a Kansas City, MO based architectural practice that specializes in the design and documentation of civic structures, multi-family housing, and sports facilities. Cole is responsible for national business development, design, and management of sports projects. He has an eye for design that is complimented by his ability to realize in every project the potential to deliver long-term value to his clients and their stakeholders. Cole has developed an expertise in the development of community-oriented designs that foster environmental and economic sustainability. It is for this reason that Cole is considered one of the leading minds in the sports facility design world. For more information, please visit www.pendulumkc.com.
Jonathan Coles auction items to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters KC 2020 “Most Wanted” Auction go live November 12, 2020
The Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City (@BBBSKC) 2020 “Most Wanted” Auction opens to the public on November 12th, 2020. As a 2020 “Most Wanted” honoree, Jonathan O’Neil Cole has assembled a collection of sports legend memorabilia for bid that are second to none. Be sure to register to bid on the BBBSKC site by clicking the button below:
Jonathan’s roots in stadium design inspired his collection of auction items that honor sports, music, and creative legends. These legends are from Kansas City and beyond. All items highlight 25 years of nurtured relationships.
Mitchell Bat Company Custom 2015 Royals Painted Baseball Bat
2015 Custom Bat from Pendulum’s Private Collection
In 2015 the Kansas City Royals won the Word Series. In honor of the win Nashville, TN based Mitchell Bat Company – http://mitchellbatco.com – released a series of custom painted baseball bats in the Royals color way. Pendulum’s Jonathan Cole jumped on the opportunity to commission one of the custom bats for his personal collection. This auction is for the custom bat and leather bat hanger.
Sports Legend Clayton Kershaw Autographed Baseball & Los Angeles Dodgers Memorabilia
World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers Memorabilia
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been crowned 2020 Major League Baseball World Series Champions. Clayton Kershaw was a key contributor to the Dodgers’ historic advance to the World Series win.
Pendulum’s Jonathan Cole has nurtured a relationship with the Dodgers’ organization over the years through Janet Marie Smith – current Senior Vice President, Planning and Development. Janet’s career in the sports architecture world is well documented with one of her most famous projects being Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles. Janet was very kind in her willingness to facilitate the donation of this authentic autographed Sports Legend Kershaw baseball, Dodgers Stadium 3D model & Jackie Robinson statue on behalf of the Dodgers organization.
Sean Kane Painted Glove – Wood Plank Wall Art: Sports Legend Buck O’Neil
Wood Plank Wall Art – Buck O’Neil Custom Painted Glove
Canadian artist Sean Kane is famous for his period correct custom painted baseball gloves – www.paintedgloves.com. Pendulum’s Jonathan Cole commissioned Kane to paint two custom gloves that are closely linked to two career milestones. The items for auction are photographs of each commissioned glove printed and laminated on wood planks. Each come with certificates of authenticity from the artist.
In 2005, Cole spent time with Mr. O’Neil at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Dallas, TX. Cole was struck by how Mr. O’Neil’s personality lit up the room – “he was just magnetic, there’s not one person that could resist wanting to be around him” said Cole. Cole was inspired to commission a custom Sports Legend Buck O’Neil glove currently on display at the Pendulum headquarters.
Regarding the Buck O’Neil glove Cole stated, “It is especially meaningful to me because Buck is a Kansas City sports legend. I feel the challenges he overcame in baseball are very similar to the challenges I’ve experienced in the profession of architecture. His example inspired me to keep challenging the market, and to keep sharpening my skills. As such we’ve had the privilege of designing a number of amazing ballparks and look forward to more in the future.”
Sean Kane Painted Glove – Wood Plank Wall Art: Sports Legend Hank Greenberg
Wood Plank Wall Art – Hank Greenberg Custom Painted Glove
Sports Legend Hank Greenberg, nicknamed “Hammerin’ Hank” was best known for his tenure with the Detroit Tigers in the 1930s and 40s. As he designed historic Tiger Stadium renovations Cole learned a great deal about Greenberg’s legacy.
Cole was selected to design Dunkin’ Donuts Park in downtown Hartford, CT where Greenberg’s career began. Cole learned that the owner of the Hartford Yard Goats, Josh Solomon, was a huge fan of Greenberg. Upon completion of the construction of the ballpark in 2017, Cole presented Mr. Solomon with a custom painted glove of Hank Greenberg as an opening day gift. This auction item includes a photograph of the painted glove printed and laminated on wood plank for display.
Sports Legend Jimmie Johnson Autographed NASCAR Hat
Jimmie Johnson Autographed Hat – Michigan International Speedway
Rick Brenner, President, Michigan International Speedway, has a long career history in Minor League Baseball. Baseball is where Pendulum’s Jonathan Cole began a relationship with him. As an executive in Minor League Baseball, Brenner led his respective organizations to many prestigious awards throughout his career. In 2010, the Fisher Cats were awarded the Larry MacPhail Award, which recognizes the nation’s best in promotional effort.
Brenner invited Cole to conduct a design study at Michigan International Speedway in 2019. Pendulum completed the installation of a new modular seating solution. Cole attended a race after project completion on June 9 and witnessed Jimmie Johnson compete. Sports Legend Jimmie Johnson is the only race car driver in history to be named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year. He is a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, sharing the all-time record with stock car racing icons Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. Johnson is the author of one of the greatest championship runs in sports.
Brenner was kind enough to donate this Jimmie Johnson Autographed Hat for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Most Wanted silent auction.
Sports Legend Marcus Allen Autographed & Framed Jersey with Newspaper
Marcus Allen Autographed Jersey
Bobby & Karen Schumacher, Owners of Vintage Fabrication LLC, an Independence, MO-based classic car customization legend, forged a bond with Pendulum’s Jonathan Cole. This bond began with a commission to design a custom interior for a 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa.
Schumacher, a member of the Kansas City Automotive Museum Executive Board, nominated Cole for a board seat and they now serve on that board together as the museum prepares to embark on a capital campaign for the design and construction of a brand new home in downtown Kansas City. The Schumachers were kind enough to donate this framed and autographed Sports Legend Marcus Allen jersey [including a newspaper from this career era] for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Most Wanted silent auction.
Sports Legend Muhammed Ali Autographed Boxing Gloves
Scott Samson & Ali Autographed Boxing Gloves
The Muhammad Ali autographed boxing gloves are a special donation from Scott Samson; a dear friend, amazing acoustical engineer, and design collaborator. Mr. Samson and Pendulum’s Jonathan Cole forged a friendship beginning with their design collaboration on Fifth Third Field – home of the Class A Dayton Dragons.
In addition to Fifth Third Field, Jonathan and Scott worked together on the design of Louisville Slugger Field, home of the Class AAA Louisville Bats in Louisville, KY. Sports Legend Muhammad Ali was born and raised in Louisville; Mr. Samson’s donation essentially brings the relationship with Cole full circle.
‘Plush Friends’ Mega-Bundle
Plush Friends Mega-Bundle
These soft and huggable 12” furry friends are ready for adventure! They are a perfect gift for the young or young at heart in your life. Chris Evans, executive creative director/partner of Kansas City, MO based SPIRIT! has had a long collaborative relationship with Pendulum’s Jonathan Cole. They’ve worked together on a number of local and national projects. SPIRIT! Is a creative marketing agency dedicated to making kids and families your biggest fans.
Kansas City Music Legend Bobby Watson – Five Autographed Compact Disks
A saxophonist, composer, arranger and educator, Bobby Watson grew up in Kansas City, Kan. He trained formally at the University of Miami, a school with a distinguished and well-respected jazz program. After graduating, he proceeded to earn his “doctorate” on the bandstand – as musical director of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.
For more than three decades now Watson has contributed consistently intelligent, and sensitive music to the modern-day jazz lexicon. All told, Watson, the immensely talented and now-seasoned veteran, has issued some 30 recordings as a leader and appeared on 100-plus other recordings, performing as either co-leader or in support of other like-minded musicians. Not simply a performer, the saxophonist has recorded more than 100 original compositions including the music for the soundtrack of A Bronx Tale, which marked Robert DeNiro’s 1993 directorial debut. Numerous Watson compositions have become classics such as his “Time Will Tell,” “In Case You Missed It” and “Wheel within a Wheel,” each now oft-recorded titles that are interpreted by his fellow musicians both on the bandstand and on other recordings.
Pendulum’s Jonathan Cole commissions local jazz musician, producer, and composer Joshua Williams of Behr Productions to arrange custom tracks for various lifestyle and videos releases. Josh has performed with Bobby on numerous occasions and was gracious enough to provide Jonathan with these autographed albums to add to the fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters Kanas City.
Help Jonathan’s campaign for Big Brothers Big Sisters KC
2020 marks the 15th year that Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City will host the “Most Wanted Auction” that recognizes 25 Honorees from the Kansas City business community. They have been asked to raise funds and awareness for the benefit local youth. Our CEO, Jonathan O’Neil Cole was recently announced as one of the selected honorees. The video above provides insight on a few of his passions in life and why charitable giving for this very worthy cause is important.
We are challenging all of our friends, collaborators, clients and colleagues to assist us in supporting @BBBSKC. Although we are all negatively impacted by the current COVID19 pandemic we can’t overlook the heightened support needed by our youth…especially now.
November 12, 2020 – Silent Auction Items Available For bid
In the upcoming weeks we’ll start posting digital shorts honoring some of our friends that have already donated funds or silent auction items for the cause – don’t get left out…we’d love to tell your story too!
The Grill Nation Show featuring Jason Grill and Jonathan Cole will air on Saturday July 11, 2020 on KMBZ 980AM and on iTunes. In this clip Cole answers the question “what is your favorite stadium (that you didn’t work on) and why?” It is just a sneak peek of the full conversation that goes into detail about Pendulum’s history, inspirations, emotional muscle memory, and design methodology.
Be sure to tune in on Saturday…this will be a lot of fun!
As founding principal, Jonathan O’Neil Cole has served as managing member and 51% owner of Pendulum, a Kansas City-based architecture firm, since its launch in 2007.As of July 1, 2020 Cole has acquired the remaining 49% balance of company shares and shall continue serving in his role as practice leader and CEO.
“I am honored to be in the position to continue to lead Pendulum in the direction of growth and innovation.While this acquisition is more of a formality, I do believe it will provide a great deal of clarity for our employees, collaborators, and past, present, and future clients.While there are very few things I’d change about our history, we’ve certainly got an extremely bright future ahead of us,” Cole said.
Founded in 2007 in Kansas City, Missouri, Pendulum has gained notoriety in the sports architecture marketplace with the design of thirteen built sports facilities and counting. Of recent note Pendulum teamed with Florida based Fawley Bryant Architecture to complete the design of Cool Today Park, spring training home of the Atlanta Braves. The completion of Cool Today Park in March of 2019 was quickly followed by the two firms being selected to design the renovation of Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, spring training home of the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals.In addition to sports architecture Pendulum has developed a reputation for the design of unique Kansas City, Missouri commercial buildings including The Guild, RW/2 Studios, and Crosstown Substation.
About Jonathan O’Neil Cole, AIA, NCARB, NOMA
1990 – 1995 California Polytechnic University Pomona, Bachelor of Architecture
1995 HNTB Corporation – Irvine, CA – Design Staff Member
2001 HOK Sport S+V+E – Associate Staff Member
2006 360 Architecture – Architect/Market Leader
2007 Pendulum – Principal
2020 Rethinking The Future Awards – Future Stadia
2019 CSI Award, Innovative Design + Function – Wyco Vintage Broadway Kansas City, Missouri
2019 CSI Award, Visionary Design – Cool Today Park North Port, Florida
2018 CSI Award, Community Investment – The Corner Ballpark Detroit, Michigan
2018 CSI Award, Excellence in Craftsmanship – Dunkin’ Donuts Park Hartford, Connecticut
2018 Hartford Magazine Best Sports Venue – Dunkin’ Donuts Park Hartford, Connecticut
2018 Kansas City Business Journal Coolest Office Award – Pendulum Headquarters Kansas City, Missouri
2017 Ballpark Digest Best Ballpark Award – Dunkin’ Donuts Park Hartford, CT
2017 Baseballparks.com Ballpark of the Year – Dunkin’ Donuts Park Hartford, CT
2017 ACEC Michigan Engineering Eminent Connector Award – Jimmy John’s Field Utica, Michigan
2017 Phoenix Community Impact Award Excellence in Brownfield Redevelopment – Jimmy John’s Field Utica, Michigan
2017 IIDA Mid America Design Silver Award for Renovation & Restoration – Pendulum Headquarters Kansas City, Missouri
2017 NOMA Honor Award, Built Category – Dunkin’ Donuts Park Hartford, Connecticut
2016 Ballpark Digest Best Renovation – AutoZone Park Memphis, Tennessee
2014 EDC Cornerstone Award – Crosstown Substation Kansas City, Missouri
2013 NOMA Design Excellence Citation – RW/2 Studio & The Guild Kansas City, Missouri
2013 EDC Cornerstone Award for Residential Building – East Village Apartments Kansas City, Missouri
Our first award goes to Wyco Vintage located at 3535 Broadway Blvd Unit R104 Kansas City, MO 64111. Wyco Vintage owner Pat Klima is well known for having the largest curated collection of vintage tees in the world. His team’s resourcefulness and passion for the culture grew into an assembly of collectible art, clothing, sneakers, and brands that include Supreme New York, Off-White, and Nike Air Jordan just to name a few. When Pat and partner Adam Compo reached out to Pendulum with an idea to move from their storefront in Merriam, KS to the new Broadway Blvd location just a few blocks from downtown we started with a sit down at our studio (see image below…discussion and deep thought) – “we immediately vibed off of each other’s energy and critical eye” said Pendulum founding principal Jonathan Cole. There’s a lot that could be said about the process and journey from conversation to lines on paper, to virtual reality model, to the final built product. The entire process took about six weeks; yes…we hustled.
Cole commented further, “one of the cool things about this project was being exposed to Pat’s breadth of knowledge of the vintage culture, he’s plugged in beyond trends, the entire team has a nose for authenticity that is refreshing. We got on a wavelength rather quickly that resulted in us finishing each other’s sentences…Pat is ten years ahead…which is exactly where I like to think I am.”
Wyco Vintage is hands down the rightful recipient of the “Hustler of the Year Award”. Since opening their doors October 17, 2019, they’ve brought a new energy to the vintage and sneaker culture in Kansas City – we can’t think of a storefront like it. As Wyco’s notoriety has increased there’s been notable celebrity foot traffic in the store from NFL stars to internationally recognized musicians. As far as we are concerned Wyco Vintage needs to be on everyone’s radar, not as up and comers but real hustlers and movers and shakers in the game.
When asked to comment on the award, Wyco Vintage owner Pat Klima stated “I Appreciate Pendulum for recognizing the work our team has been putting in. The last year was our best yet and 2020 is already off to an insane start. This acceleration wouldn’t be possible without the design and expertise Pendulum provided in building out the store. The number one compliment we get at the shop is “you guys have the nicest store”. We can’t wait to start working on the next location with the Pendulum squad!”