Posts Tagged ‘Highbridge Park’

The mysterious staircase near 158th Street

October 4, 2010

At the tail end of Highbridge Park, at about 158th Street and Edgecombe Avenue in Harlem, lies a decrepit staircase.┬áIt’s in bad shape, fenced off from pedestrians.

So where did it lead to? It’s the last remnant of the Polo Grounds, home to the New York Giants baseball team from 1890 until 1957, when they departed for San Francisco.

The staircase took fans down to the stadium, which was built against a cliff here called Coogan’s Bluff.

You can still read the plaque on one the landings: “The John T. Brush Stairway Presented By the New York Giants.”

John T. Brush was the Giants’ owner who rebuilt the Polo Grounds after a fire in 1911. The team dedicated the then-new staircase to him in 1913, who had died a year earlier.

A view across the High Bridge

June 3, 2008

Closed to all traffic since the 1960s, the majestic High Bridge is slated to be renovated and then reopened to pedestrians in 2011. It’s one of the city’s small treasures, connecting Washington Heights’ Highbridge Park across the Harlem River to tiny Highbridge Park in the Bronx. Built in 1848, it’s also the oldest bridge linking two boroughs.

If you peered through the iron bars that block off the walkway on the Bronx side, this is what you’d see. The grass growing through it gives it a High Line kind of feel.

In the distance is the High Bridge Water Tower, constructed in 1872. Like the bridge itself, the tower was part of the Old Croton Aqueduct, an engineering marvel that brought fresh water from Westchester to New York City from 1842 until 1958. Think it would be cool to explore? You’re in luck; the Parks Department is opening the tower to the public on June 22.

Here’s the bridge circa 1890. The original stone arches were largely replaced by a steel arch in the 1920s.