Where was Yankee Stadium almost built?

In 1921, after the Yankees had been sharing the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan with the Giants for a decade, the two teams were butting heads—especially with the Yankees selling more tickets.

Yankees honchos Jacob Ruppert and Tillinghast Huston knew a new stadium had to go up.

After checking out sites in Long Island City and in the West 50s at 11th Avenue, a location was picked: Harlem, on Convent Avenue between 136th and 138th Streets.

At the time, the site was occupied by the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, an 1884 Modern Renaissance structure that housed more than a thousand kids.

A design was selected, but in early 1922, Yankees brass announced that the new stadium would actually be built in the South Bronx on land once owned by the Astor family.

What did the Bronx have over Harlem? Stellar subway access.

“Ruppert and Huston had looked at the Astor property shortly after buying the Yankees in 1915. They ruled the site out because it lacked adequate transportation,” wrote Neil J. Sullivan in 2001’s The Diamond in the Bronx.

“The development of the subway solved that problem, and the Bronx location became even more accessible than many neighborhoods in Manhattan.”

[Hebrew Orphan Asylum image: the NYPL Digital Collection]

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5 Responses to “Where was Yankee Stadium almost built?”

  1. zz Says:

    Fascinating. This appears to be the same site as Lewisohn Stadium, and today’s NAC Building at City College.

    http://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/city-colleges-impressive-old-stadium/

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    I think Lewisohn was across the street. Would have been quite a New York sports mecca if Yankee Stadium was built there.

    • Joe R Says:

      Interesting. Across from Lewisohn Stadium on Convent Avenue was a playing field known in my CCNY days as the Jasper Oval. At the time (late 60’s) I was told that it was a significant place in the history of baseball in NYC but never knew why.

  3. Where home plate once was at the Polo Grounds « Ephemeral New York Says:

    [...] plaque commemorates the Polo Grounds—home not just to the Giants but also the Yankees in the 1910s and the pre-Shea Stadium Mets in the early [...]

  4. Hebrew Orphan Asylum In Harlem, 1884 | Says:

    […] Source […]

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