On October 30th the City of Gastonia, NC hosted a series of tours of the soon to be completed ballpark. Despite the global pandemic construction is on track for first quarter 2021 events. Pendulum’s CEO Jonathan O’Neil Cole toured the FUSE complex with VenuesNow’sDon Muret and talked shop.
In addition to Cole and Muret, Brandon Bellamy – Owner of the team, and Mayor Walker Reid III joined the tour and offered their thoughts on this exciting project. For an in depth account of the visit see below.
VenuesNow Coverage of Construction
On Deck: FUSE District Phase Two
The intent from the very inception of the Fuse District is economic redevelopment. The Velocity Companies has a reputation for just that, so we are optimistic about what the future holds for the City of Gastonia. As stated in previous posts, the vision of Mayor Walker Reid III and City Manager Michael Peoples has generated excitement in the region. The recent groundbreaking of the Trenton Mill housing and Durty Bull Brewing Company projects is proof of growing momentum.
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!
As architects we often spend a great deal of energy on projects that at the moment feel like the most important work we’ve ever done. We forget that although we have influence over design we have no control over political will, the economy, and most of all territorial rights and approvals. That being said, some of our best work gets locked away in the vault or collects dust on a shelf somewhere in the office.
Pendulum designed this ballpark with intensions for placement on the Expo 67 Island in Montreal Quebec Canada. At the time it felt like the one opportunity we’d have in a long time to aggressively stretch our design thinking – after all, the ballpark is surrounded by architectural icons.
Unfortunately the project came to a screeching halt. Ten years after the fact our CEO, Jonathan O’Neil Cole said he dreamt he attended an event at the facility….then he woke up with notes on required design adjustments…so that’s what we did.
We never stop thinking about how to make our projects better…As Jonathan always says: “Design Is Change”.
As sports across the globe are beginning to return, organizations at all levels of play are actively contemplating the right approach with an obvious default to caution. Pendulum’s Jonathan Cole is quoted in a recent article written by Joe Mock in USA Today Sports Weekly on the topic of seating bowls during the COVID era. Also quoted is Nick Sunderhaus, a national security expert and collaborator in Pendulum’s Part-Two release of “Public Assembly Post COVID19” .
As we continue our conversations with owners, operators, athletes, and fans, it is clear that there are still many unanswered questions, but we are seeing movement in the sports marketplace. NASCAR was the first sport in the USA to host fans at a large scale (30,000) and now we see college wood bat leagues including the Coastal Plain League and United Shores Professional Baseball League following suit in states that will allow it with up to 1,300 fans in attendance.
Part-Three of our five part series will address how the market is responding to change. Is design the answer? Stay tuned…
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 we progress closer to the completion of the Fuse District Sports Complex scheduled to open in 2021, Our CEO pauses for a moment to look forward. We applaud the City of Gastonia, NC for their ability to “see the finish line before the race ever started.”
Thank you for your willingness to trust the process and collaborate with us on your personal version of the “Small Big Idea.”
For the last 23 years I’ve spent virtually every day of my life working in some capacity on sports projects. That being said, my work has required relentless travel across the nation to service my clients and projects. One of the many things I learned early in my career from my mentor Henry Stickney (former CEO of Mandalay Baseball Properties) is, “if you’re going to travel – log miles with one airline.” When we first met we were “logging miles” together on TWA exclusively. He would layover in St. Louis, MO just long enough for me to meet up with him for a flight to Dayton, OH. We did this every week for about two years. After TWA was bought out we started logging miles on Delta. Two million miles later… the rest is history.
This volume of “Design Is Everywhere” is documentation of my travels and a tribute to my many clients over the years. One of the additional lessons learned from Hank, as the owner/operator of several Minor League Baseball teams and the individual who taught me everything I know about the business of baseball, is, “when you go to a ballpark, you should always buy merchandise; after all, it’s all about the per caps baby!”. I’ve kept that lesson close to my heart for the last 20 years. He helped me to understand that my contribution to the ballpark-built environment is about more than just lines on paper. The truth of the matter is that I’m a real fan of the game and a fan of what my clients do. I’m excited about their brands and I proudly wear their gear on the streets of Kansas City all the time. When we design a ballpark, we pour our sweat and occasional tears into what we are doing; as far as I’m concerned we are members of the team even though we’re not playing on the field. As such we find that during the process of design there are a few funny stories that develop along the way. Even more important than that: there are real relationships that we’ve developed and nurtured over the years that are a byproduct of the work. Some of these relationships have absolutely shaped who we have become. So shout out to all the teams featured in this volume; we wouldn’t be who we are without you!
Stay tuned for the next volume release, we’ll share a few stories about how several of our clients have impacted our trajectory over the years.
Behr Productions – Original Music Score (instagram @behr_productions)