Historic Hoops: Utah at Stanford
December 28, 2015

Historic Hoops: Maples Pavilion and Stanford University

Welcome to our Historic Hoops series, where we offer a guide to historic places related (at least tangentially) to a televised men’s or women’s NCAA basketball matchup each week throughout the 2015-2016 season. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply stuck watching with your significant other, we’re here to assist your viewing experience with some historic context beyond the hardwood.

This week’s matchup: #24 University of Utah at Stanford University

Time: Friday, Jan. 1, 9:00 p.m. EST

Channel: ESPNU and WatchESPN

Venue: Maples Pavilion in Stanford, California

Opening Tip: It’s a new year, but this is an old arena.

Fast Break: Maples Pavilion, named after its primary benefactor, was completed in 1969 at the cost of just $3.3 million.

The $26 million renovation of the facility was completed in 2005. The work included a new 29,000-square-foot concourse that was built separate from the original structure in an effort to retain the arena’s historic integrity.

Maples Pavilion

photo by: albedo20/Flickr/CC BY NC ND 2.0

Maples Pavilion was completed in 1969 and renovated in 2005.

Three Points:

  • The name Palo Alto (tall tree) is named for a specific California redwood that stood on the banks of San Francisquito Creek in the late 1800s. The same tree still stands today and is recognized as the symbol of Stanford University.
  • Stanford University was opened in 1891 as a memorial to the son of one-time California governor and senator Leland Stanford. Leland Jr. died of typhoid fever while in Italy with his family in 1884.
  • Preeminent landscape Architect Frederick Law Olmsted―who also designed New York’s Central Park―was enlisted to sculpt Stanford University’s campus. Though his work with the Stanfords was at times challenging, it was decided the school would be situated in quadrangles on an east-west axis.
The entrance to Stanford University's quad

photo by: Peter Jackson/Flickr/CC BY NC ND 2.0

Famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed Stanford University's campus layout.

Buzzer Beater: Stanford lost their first game in Maples Pavilion on January 3, 1969 to Utah’s in-state rival Brigham Young University (featured in last week’s matchup). The Cardinal came back to beat BYU the following evening.

And-1: Vanderbilt hosts LSU and their freshmen stud Ben Simmons at Memorial Gym in Nashville on Saturday, Jan. 2 at 9:00 p.m. Dedicated in 1952 as a memorial to “all Vanderbilt men and women who served in World War II,” the venue is one of just a select few that retains an old-school raised court that sits above the bottom seating level.

David Weible is the content specialist at the National Trust, previously with Preservation and Outside magazines. His interest in historic preservation was inspired by the ‘20s-era architecture, streetcar neighborhoods, and bars of his hometown of Cleveland.

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