The 1880 New York Mets and a walk through Harlem    2009-01-13


This Sunday history walk started in East Harlem, went through central Harlem and ended in the South Bronx near old and new Yankee Stadium.    Along the way were a number of baseball-oriented historic sites among other things.


More photos at: - then click on album '090111'


The original Polo grounds was not the one most people know about at 155 St and 8 Ave.    The original location in 1880 was at 110 St and 5 Ave, in what is now the northeast corner of Central Park - and as the name implies was before that a polo field.    The first team to play there was an independent team named the New York Mets (Metropolitans - who just like today is the corporate name of the Mets).    Later in that decade what evolved into the New York Giants played there.




On the railroad viaduct on Park Avenue, this indentation in the stone wall, and the bricked up arch on the left, are the remnants of a railroad station that existed for the original Polo Grounds.



Croton Aqueduct Gatehouse at 135 St and Convent Ave, near CCNY.    This was the first water system for New York City in the 1800s and ended at what is now Bryant Park.



This rather ordinary park at 136th and Amsterdam, just west of CCNY, was for a short time owned by the Yankees, and almost became the site of the 1923 Stadium before it was constructed in the Bronx.



This famous group of townhouses, known as Strivers Row, on 138th and 139th between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Frederick Douglass Boulevard.   Some were designed by Stanford White.




This house, known as Hamilton Grange, was the home of Alexander Hamilton from 1802 to 1804.    It was recently physically moved from Convent Avenue about 2 blocks to this park near the historic buildings of the City College campus.



At 151 St and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. is the low-rise 1937 Art Deco Harlem River Houses.    It is considered architecturally and functionally a successful example of an urban housing project.



At 155 St and 8 Ave. was the site of the later Polo Grounds, home to the New York Giants until 1957 and then the Mets in 1962 and 1963.    Here's the stadium looking towards the bronx, and note old Yankee Stadium right across the river in the upper right.     Then on the right, Sunday's view in roughly the same place.   Note NEW Yankee stadium in upper center.




A color drawing  of the stadium looking the west.   Take note of the buildings on the hill.   Most are still there.




Here's a view of the stadium 155 St and 8 Ave. (now Frederick Douglas Blvd.) looking north/northwest.   This elevated subway line connected to the bronx subways near Yankee Stadium.     Then same view Sunday.   Note the housing projects and bridge in the background that also are in the photo above.







Ever get out at the 155 St station and wonder why the staircase was so wide?   When this station opened in 1940 it built to handle large crowds for the Polo Grounds.



That elevated subway connection I mentioned above, which was discontinued in 1958, connected here to what is today the #4 train.    This little remaining segment is at the northeast corner of New Yankee Stadium which you can see behind it. (I'm standing at 164th St and River Ave. looking south)


Nice shot I got of the new and old stadiums side by side - I'm on the Manhattan side at about 152nd St. near the river.







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