City College’s impressive old stadium

This 1920s postcard makes the City College campus in Harlem appear almost pastoral. Where are all the buildings?

Lewisohn Stadium had those magnificent Doric columns, a nice touch. Built in 1915 between Amsterdam and Convent Avenue and 136th and 138th Streets, it served as home field for CUNY’s sport teams and was also a concert venue featuring performers from George Gershwin to Pete Seeger.

It was demolished in 1973. There’s a big academic center on the site now, but the old campus buildings are still gorgeous and worth a subway ride to see them.

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33 Responses to “City College’s impressive old stadium”

  1. petey Says:

    wow! i never saw it, but google-images has a number of dramatic views.

  2. pudeljung Says:

    yes, the Lewisohn stadium site was the venue for many summers of musical events; Gershwin, Pete Seeger, but also regular appearances of the New York Philharmonic (who went by the name “Stadium Concerts Symphony Orchestra” for those dates).

    Still a very lovely campus!

  3. wildnewyork Says:

    It’s a truly beautiful campus, on a hillside near lovely old townhouses and brownstones. One of the city’s hidden gems.

  4. Maria Says:

    I was student at CCNY when the stadium was demolished. I remember seeing the wrecking ball swinging. Why didn’t I think to take photos?

  5. Gabe Says:

    I think this is the location used in Serpico where Al Pacino and Tony Roberts meet up at one point. That location was a decrepit looking stadium that resembles the postcard in the post.

  6. George Shear Says:

    I recall summer evening concerts by the Goldman Band in the stadium.

  7. ANTHONY LANIER Says:

    My mother took me to the stadium just before demolition. We lived in Harlem then and I would have been in junior high school at the time. I recall her being quite sad about the loss of the stadium. I later went to CCNY for a semester before transferring to State University. I live in Vancouver BC now but whenever i’m in NY, I visit the campus.

  8. ole timer Says:

    Now in my eighties and having grown up at the foot of the stadium (St Nicholas Ave 135th Street) I remember the stadium well. CCNY and High School of Music & Arts were the gems of the neighborhood. As an adult I attended many concerts in the safe open air setting. I am glad I grew up during that time. Recently visited NY and drove by CUNY. It is still a lovely campus, but seems crowded by all the glass buildings. Sometimes progress comes at a great cost.

  9. Bill Rodriguez Says:

    I played lacrosse for three years (’57 – ’59) in old Lewisohn Stadium. The playing field had no grass and literally consisted of just dirt and stones plus a pitcher’s mound for the baseball team. Other users of the field (when not a sea of mud or covered by snow) were the soccer team, track and field teams and the Army ROTC. The summer concerts were a Godsend as one could enjoy Bernstein, Brubeck, Van Cliburn, et.al under the stars.

  10. Ron Ries Says:

    My graduation from CCNY in 1968 was at Lewisohn Stadium. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall was that year’s honorary speaker. It seems like yesterday, maybe longer than yesterday.

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