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.
Jonathan O’Neil Cole has been named a “Power Player” in design by Sports Business Journal, an award wining publication that reports on the biggest stories in the sports business. SBJ asked Cole what comes to mind when the term “Power Player” is used to describe Pendulum, he stated:
“My goal for the Pendulum brand has always been for people to hear our name and instead of saying – who? they say – oh yeah, we’ve heard of them. Pendulum being named a Power Player under my leadership means we are gaining ground on that goal, we’re making an impact on the market. That being said, we can’t rest on past accomplishments, we’re keenly focused on making an impact on the future of the sports market.”
Cole was one of 36 named architects to SBJ’s design list, 17 contractors, 9 developers, 11 specialists, 2 professional teams, 8 owners representatives, and 6 engineers – 89 honorees total. See the full article below for additional details on this prestigious acknowledgment.
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
Pendulum is honored to share that our Montreal Excitation concept, a ballpark, practice facility, and concert venue has been awarded a Rethinking The Future (@Rthinkingfuture) ACDA 2020 First Award for Sports & Recreation Concept.
Pendulum’s concept is sited on the historic 1967 World’s Fair Island in Montreal Quebec Canada. This fact offered a significant challenge: how do we respect the historical significance of the site while embracing the beautiful natural topography and pay homage to the signature architecture that surrounds it?
One of the stated goals of our concept is to provide site connectivity both physically and visually. Pedestrian plazas, walking trails, boat docking areas, and concourse breezeways create connection to adjacent site features. Because of the interruption of the angular extrusions in the building facade individuals within the facility are allowed to look out and view adjacent iconic architecture and landscape.
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.
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”
One of the most fulfilling aspects of architectural practice is witnessing vision progress toward reality. Pendulum’s CEO Jonathan O’Neil Cole spent time on site this week reviewing construction progress with City of Gastonia staff. The project is currently on a trajectory for an on time completion January 2021.
The project experienced an additional boost with Brandon Bellamy, owner of the Velocity Companies announced as approved owner of the Gastonia, NC Atlantic League franchise.
Click Brandon’s name above for a link to the Baseball America official press release.
Pendulum is pleased to announce a new website feature now live in our portfolio. We are kicking things of with the multi-award wining Dunkin’ Donuts Park, home of the Hartford Yard Goats.
Visitors are welcome to drag their mouse or finger across their computer screen or smart device and rotate the digital model in a walking tour of the ballpark. There are hot spots that can be clicked to launch enraged images and brief descriptions of featured areas.
Jonathan Cole, founding principal of Kansas City, MO based Pendulum stated “virtual reality and 3D visualization is an important part of our daily process from the very beginning stages of design. We communicate the sometimes crazy ideas rolling around in our head in real time and in a human scale which in my mind is a great advantage over the historic use of scaled physical models. Our clients no longer have to interpret our drawings because we are placing them in our models at every meeting, it’s an environment that feels very real. This new web feature also allows us to engage the public/fan and experience the ballpark before they arrive at a game…they’ll know what to expect; we think that’s powerful.”
Click the rotating image above to launch our new interactive feature. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements, more ballparks will be added.
Every year for the last nine years Pendulum has completed a new or substantially renovated ballpark in addition to other civic and/or boutique projects. In the last three years we’ve made a conscious effort to shift our focus from a traditional architectural delivery methodology to a process that encourages a curating of the built environment.
Most of our clients as well as the users of our buildings are heavily influenced by art, fashion, food, music, environment, and automobiles just to name a few. The combination of these elements in interior and exterior spaces fosters enhanced user experiences. There is a certain vibe that people are looking for when they attend events in or around our facilities. Most people don’t spend much time thinking about why something is cool or why it feels right, but they immediately know when something is off, when the vibe is not authentic.
Our job as curators of the built environment is to design experiences that feel effortlessly appropriate and ahead of the curve. This design journal exposes you to some of our triumphs as well as our process. It is evidence that we not only talk the talk…we live it.