A Yorkville memorial for Lou Gehrig

Yankee great Lou Gehrig was born in Yorkville on June 19, 1903. But exactly where isn’t clear.

lougehrigplaqueAccording to this plaque put up in 1990 by the New York Yankees organization, his first home—probably a typical city tenement building—was at or about 309 East 94th Street. Located there now is a branch of Mount Sinai Medical Center. 

But other sources identify Gehrig’s childhood home at 1994 Second Avenue, near 103rd Street.

Apparently there was a plaque set up in memory of the Iron Horse here too, but the business that occupied the site, a garden store, moved out, and no plaque remains.

lougehrigatcolumbia

Wherever he spent his early years, Gehrig is definitely a son of New York City. He and his German immigrant parents moved to Washington Heights when he was a boy; Gehrig later attended Commerce High School, on the Upper West Side.

Then he was off to Columbia—where his mother happened to work as a cook in a fraternity house—to play football and baseball.

That’s where a couple of Yankee scouts discovered him, and the rest is baseball history.

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7 Responses to “A Yorkville memorial for Lou Gehrig”

  1. petey Says:

    in my own neighborhood and i never knew! thanks!

  2. PizzaBagel Says:

    I’m looking at a copy of his birth certificate (Manhattan 1903 #27387), courtesy of the Municipal Archives. Here it is in black and white: He was born Henry Louis Gehrig on June 19, 1903, to Henry William and Anna Christina Gehrig (nee Fack?), both of Germany. His father was listed as being an iron worker. The family resided then at 1994 Second Avenue, between E. 102nd St. and E. 103rd St., and that is where he was born.

  3. wildnewyork Says:

    Thanks PizzaBagel–you’ve put the confusion to rest. I wonder why the Yankee organization got it wrong?

  4. danny Kavanaugh Says:

    The Yankees probably didn’t get it wrong.Usually , stories like these stay around because there was truth to them. People moved around alot back then because landlords offered them incentives to move into their building.Like a months free rent , or a fresh paint job.Also things such as electricity or a gas stove , or even a bathroom in an apartment caused people to move.Remember in 1903 , there wasa lot of old law tenements still around.

  5. danny Kavanaugh Says:

    also found them on the 1920 ( 1/21/1920 )census at 2079 8th Avenue. West 113th street? Also listed Henry the father as iron worker . Henry the son is 16 , the right age .

  6. Waaldo Says:

    I was told a plaque was in a laundry worked by Italian POWs during and after WW II. Plaque was lost when building was torn down. Tom Miller and friends tried to swipe it but was held by four rods. Back to the bar. Laundry was on 94th street. Richie

  7. Waaldo Says:

    PS manny people give false information on birth certificate to keep bill collectors away and the cops Richie

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