Gulfstream Park Track Building New, Modern Grandstand for Negro Patrons: Takes Big Step in Promoting Better Interracial Relations; to Seat Almost 1,000 People, Daily Racing Form, 1954-06-17


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Gulf stream Park Track Building New, Modern Grandstand for Negro Patrons Takes Big Step in Promoting Better Interracial Relations; To. Seat Almost 1 ,000 People NEW YORK, N. Y., June 16. Gulf stream Park will take a big step forward to promote" better interracial relations at the Hallandale track next season with the construction of a modern, fully equipped grandstand for Negro patrons, eliminating the old wooden bleachers from which members of that race previous had been obliged to view the races. President Jimmy Donn of Gulf stream, in New York for a visit this week, announced pleans for the addition to the track, which, he said, will fulfill a long-sought goal for him. The construction of an "equal facility" for Negroes is part of a 50,000 improvement program currently under way at Gulfstream Park, including the installation of a plastic "roof" over the concrete "lawn" in front of the main grandstand to provide shelter for persons viewing the races from that point, and the addition of 15 mutuel windows on the ground floor of the clubhouse. The new grandstand will be ready for use when Gulfstream opens its 1955 season on March 4. "The fact that our colored patrons have always been forced to occupy the bleachers and not have a place to sit and enjoy the races the same as everyone else, long has been a source of embarrassment for me," Donn said. "With this new grandstand, they now will have complete dining, rest room and betting facilities and will be under cover in case of rain. Many colored sports celebrites visit our track every year and Ive always felt bad about not being able to offer them every comfort. The completion of this grandstand will give me much pleasure." Donn said that the construction of the stand is going along on schedule under the direction of track superintendent Fred Capps. The piles have been driven and anchor bolts put in place, Donn said, and delivery of the steel is expected early in July. When completed, the grandstand will seat almost 1,000, with room for about 2,000 additional standees. The structure also will have box seat accommodations for Negro horsemen. The installation of the plastic covering in front of the main grandstand long has been a pet project with Donn. The same plastic material now encloses the Turf Club on the upper level of Gulfstreams modern qlubhouse, and Donn declares it has proved very successful. As far as attractiveness is concerned, the "Old Scot," who is noted for his "green thumb" and who is still one of the foremost landscape specialists in the country, said, "The whole place looks like a big greenhouse." Donn added that the plastic material is being used primarily for the open area in front of the grandstand to protect patrons there from the weather. "Weve had a tremendous amount of rainfall in the past few years," he said. "In addition, the plastic filters the rays of the sun, which should please everyone. Weve tested this material with a blowtorch you cant burn it. Were right near the ocean, and the ma- terial cant rust. And it doesnt need to be painted." Donn added that the plastic "roof" will cover an area 60 feet long in front of the grandstand and running 30 feet wide down towards the track railing. In the clubhouse, the old Stevens bar is being removed to pave the way for the installation of the -5 additional mutuel windows. The Gulfstream clubhouse is only three years old, Donn pointed out, "but already weve outgrown it." He said that plans are now being developed to double the capacity of j:he clubhouse, "but that.s fpr the future, not right now."

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