Saving Yankee Stadium history but at what cost?

Open Thread: 2009 Draft Signing Deadline Day
The Cody Miley Memorial Fund

According to critics, the plan to save Gate 2 comes with a hefty price tag.

As the Yankee Stadium demolition continues apace, the effort to save Gate 2 is gaining traction. Yet, despite the increased publicity and focus on the preservation effort, critics contend that it is far too late and far too costly to save this bit of Bronx baseball history.

The latest development in this fight over parkland and the historic parts of Yankee Stadium comes to us via the Daily News. Today’s article sums up the current state of the movement, and it doesn’t sound as though things are falling into place for those of us who wish to see a part of Yankee Stadium incorporated into Heritage Park.

Eitan Gavis and Larry McShane talked to a few unnamed critics of the plan, and these naysayers point to the price and historical modifications of Gate 2. According to those who oppose the effort, it could cost up to $10 million to restore Gate 2 to its historical image and stabilize the gate so that it stands without the help of the existing stadium. These critics also contend that the gate was “significantly changed” during the renovations to the stadium in the 1970s.

According to the Daily News and previous reports, the Parks Department plans to leave the giant bat in place. There is, however, a functional aspect to it as it serves as a vent from the physical plant located below ground. The department will also incorporate some of the frieze into plans for Heritage Park.

Proponents of the plan though hit upon the real reasons for saving Gate 2. For too many years, we have simply destroyed baseball history, leaving plaques in out-of-the-way locations or home plates buried under parking lots. “We visit some of these places where the original field is gone, and all we have is a brass plaque saying, ‘This is where home plate was,'” Bill Turner, a supporter of the movement, said.

Lloyd Ultan, Bronx borough president, compared Yankee Stadium to some of the world’s more famous architectural and archeological ruins. “If you go to Rome, you can get some idea of what the Forum was like from the ruins,” Ultan said to the News. “If it’s feasible, it’s worthy to save that part.”

As I said last week when I wrote about the plans for the park, the Yankees and the City should figure out a way to better incorporate the old stadium into plans for Heritage Park. The team could front some of the money for preservation, and Save the Gate 2 could fundraise for it as well. Too late will we realize what is missing if the stadium is demolished with no eye toward both the future and the past.

Open Thread: 2009 Draft Signing Deadline Day
The Cody Miley Memorial Fund
  • Makavelli

    “Save Gate 2!!!”

    • Let’s Talk About TEX Baby

      There may be a good answer to this, but why save gate 2 rather than gate 4? Gate 4 is near the big bat, it was the home plate gate, and it’s the most visible from the Deegan and Harlem River Drive.

      • edwantsacracker

        Gate 2 was supposed to be one of the gates modified the least in the Yankee Stadium Renovation. That and it is directly across the street from the new stadium.

  • Makavelli

    I agree with Turner and Ultan. Yankee Stadium is an American historical landmark. While it’s not as old as the Parthanon…it still deserves proper memorial for what it was…for this country and for the country’s “past-time”

  • Jon W.

    As much as I love Yankee Stadium and want the history of it preserved, why should people who could care less about baseball and/or the Yankees pay for this? The people of NYC already got the shaft with the stadium financing, and now they’re supposed to pay even more money?

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

      How did they get the shaft with stadium financing?

  • donttradecano

    Between the Yankees, the Gate 2 group and the millionaire yankee fans, im sure $10 million wouldnt be that hard to scrap together.

    Where are you billy crystal, spike lee, rudy giuliani, lebron, etc..

    • Drew

      That would be something…

      • Drew

        Now that I think about it. 10 mil can go a long way towards parks throughout the city. I’m not sure it’s worth a keepsake for all of us Yankee and baseball fans.

    • Edwantsacracker

      I’m not a millonaire but I would buy a save gate 2 t shirt if it had a cool design. Has the Save Gate 2 group done any kind of fundraising or are they just trying to raise awareness right now?

  • Matt H. :: Sec105

    No sense in “saving” it if you have to “restore” it….

    I believe a brick wall on the campus off Pitt is still standing, it what was there when the stadium was tore down.

    Stabilize it yes, but don’t spend the money to make it look like the original gate, the look now is fine for me.

    As for the old school ticket boxes in the pic, those are already torn up, noticed that when I went to the Saturday game vs the Sox.

    • SparkyL

      Exactly – there was never a mention in the preservation proposal to restore it – it is good enough as is.

      As for the comment that it was “significantly changed” during the renovations – if that is their definition of “significantly changed” then what element of YS was not? What was really changed is that the top was cut off (of the entire outer wall), the windows removed and a coat of paint applied. That does not seem “significantly changed” to me.

      BYW – the Roman Forum is certainly “significantly changed” and you don’t see the Italian government using that as a reason to pave it over. You save the best of what is left.

  • Tony

    Just an absurd waste of money.

  • rose

    i’m surprised corporate america hasn’t stepped in to foot the bill and add its name to the stadium, like nearby citi field. there’s a good article on corporate sponsorship and baseball over here…worth a read:

    • Drew

      So you’d like to cover an oldtime Yankee landmark with Coors Light ads? I don’t see the point in restoring a piece of history and draping it with said ads.

  • YankeeJosh

    Not sure if this has been said or not, but the ticket booths outside Gate 2 (as shown in the drawing) are already gone. I love the idea. Top NYC Parks have Conservancy’s nand there is no reason Heritage Field/Park couldn’t as well. It deserves to be a special park. I’d certainly chip in some. But I really can’t see it happening. The City is determined to bring the Stadium down.

    • http://Letsgosteiner John

      Josh- The city and Steiner sports. you have to relize that

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  • http://Letsgosteiner John

    Its to late. you will never annex gate 4 it is steiner. Unfortunatly this would be way to costly to pay for this huge piece and will be paid to from the yankees and most of all Steiner Sports

  • http://Letsgosteiner John