Positioning the baseball diamond at the top of the field isn't in either plan, but people seem to want it that way. The City give the architectural contract to the same Fanning & Shaw who'd recently designed both new high schools, and John Shaw trumps the firm's time-honored traditional style with a bold mix of cost-saving concrete-the next big thing in stadium-building-with broad, horizontally-oriented design.
The look is fast and forward, dominated by a long, smoothly-contoured perimiter wall, its off-white skin and low hip-roofed corner-towers edged in red terracotta. The effect is a mix of American Mission-style and the trendy new "art deco/ moderne." Bright, multi-colored tiles playfully accent the ticket-windows and sunlit pennant-flags ripple around the stadium periphery. Each flag-point in the long walls is dotted with a brilliant ceramic relief of a classical Olympic field sport.
Stadium construction moves swiftly, masking news of deep job losses and bitter strikes at the local mills. The Board of Ed takes over stadium management in June '32, virtually as soon as workers ready the newly greened oval. In July, Hinchliffe hosts a patriotic community event, a George Washington Bicentennial Birthday celebration. This is followed by a baseball barnstorming doubleheader that pits the legendary bearded Michigan team, House of David, against the Paterson Professionals in the stadium's first major moneymaker.
In a tumultuous first summer, controversy mounts over such hard-on-the-field games. But just as the Mayor declares a "Paterson First" rule comes fresh panic: engineers say the field may be sinking-back into the filled reservoir it's built on, and officials declare the field temporarily off-limits before Labor Day, just as the money-strapped city is forced to padlock every one of its other playgrounds for the season. What a time to be kicking up a stadium! A few landmark events get through in August: Hall-of-Famer John Henry "Pop" Lloyd playing with the Bacharach Giants of the Negro League in the last season of his career, the Cuban All-Stars and the Paterson Truckers in the stadium's very first night game.
The city's spirit and the Mayor's seem unsinkable. Whatever the problems, repairs get made, the bills get paid, the games go on. When on the eve of the stadium's dedication in September, the Evening News lets out that the new oval will be called "Hinchliffe City Stadium," the Mayor can insist all he wants that it's really about his uncle, a former-mayor who'd taken the city through a crisis thirty years before. Nobody who knows what they've come through complains. And as the press highlights his leadership, the living Hinchliffe becomes a legend for his own time.