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Highbridge Park

Play Ball! Parks Cuts The Ribbon On Refurbished Ballfield At Highbridge Park


Thursday, August 11, 2011
No. 60
http://www.nyc.gov/parks

Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, State Senators Adriano Espaillat and Bill Perkins, State Assembly Member Guillermo Linares, Community Board 12 District Manager Ebenezer Smith, and children from the Alfonso Juvenile Baseball League, the Jaybie Sports League, the Michael Buczek Little League, and the Victor Lebron Little League to cut the ribbon on more than $1.3 million in improvements to Highbridge Park’s Ballfield at West 174th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Washington Heights, Manhattan.

“The reconstruction of this ballfield at Highbridge Park will surely delight the Little Leaguers of Washington Heights as they pursue their big league dreams,” said Commissioner Benepe. “Yankee legend Lou Gehrig grew up across the street from this field and likely learned how to play baseball here. I am grateful to the New York City Council and the Mayor for funding more than $1.3 million toward these upgrades, ensuring that the future stars can play ball on better fields than those used by Lou Gehrig and the many others who made their start on this field.”

Thanks to $1,118,000 from the New York City Council and $159,000 from Mayor Bloomberg, Parks reconstructed this grass little league ballfield with new dugouts, a backstop, spectator stone seating, new fencing, an ADA drinking fountain, and water supply utilities. The site was regraded, existing topsoil was amended and new plantings were installed.

This ballfield, located on the north side of the Highbridge Recreation Center, was originally built in 1912 and 1913. Yankee legend Lou Gehrig grew up across the street from the field and likely learned how to play baseball here and he was between 9 - 10 years old when the field was first constructed.

This project is part of nearly $100 million that has been invested in recent years for upgrades to Highbridge Park, which include the upcoming restoration and reopening of the 1848 landmark High Bridge and the reconstruction of the Brush Stairway which descends down to the former location of the Polo Grounds.

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The historic Brush stairway located at West 157th Street is being reconstructed with the same utilitarian characteristics and simple expression of steel and concrete as the original. While incorporating similar materials, the stairway will be upgraded to meet today's building code. The lower area along the Harlem River drive will be improved with new picnic tables, a game table, benches and landscaping.
Anticipated Completion: Winter 2014

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