Feb
24

Design Commission approves Heritage Field Park plans sans Gate 2

By

The Save the Gate 2 movement may be running out of options. Earlier this week, the city’s Public Design Commission gave its preliminary approval to the Parks Department’s plans for Heritage Field Park, the park that will replace Yankee Stadium. These plans include, according to a statement from the Parks Department, “signage, benches, engraved plaques with historical narrative, viewfinders that allow participants to glimpse past events and an audio tour” but do not include any elements of Gate 2. For years, the advocacy group has pushed a $1 million, low-cost effort to include the part of the original 1923 stadium in the Heritage Park plans, but city officials have claimed that the real cost of the effort would be $15 million. City historians also question the authenticity of the gate and claim major elements were removed and altered during the 1970s renovation of Yankee Stadium, a charge Save the Gate 2 disputes.

The organization says it will attempt to secure an injunction in an effort to save some aspect of the historic Yankee Stadium, but because the stadium is not landmarked, convincing a judge to halt the project may take some legal maneuvering. Bronx residents, at this point, say they simply want their parks back. I’ve long believed that New York should incorporate some aspect of the stadium into the park. It is, after all, a building heavy with city history. But as with many historic buildings, the city is content to wreck and forget this one as well. The Yanks’ silence on the issue has been deafening as well.

Categories : Asides, Yankee Stadium
  • jennifer

    This is such BS. Has anyone tried contacting Yankee players particularly Derek. Maybe having a high profile player get involved will help. They waste money on crap yet don’t want to do anything with YS,

    • Sparky

      That effort has been made – to present and past player . . with no luck.

  • Christos

    Tell a reporter to ask Jeet about it. He’ll take care of the rest.

    • DP

      Can one of you two change your name?

  • Hughesus Christo

    Oh great, let’s send this to court for years for a 30 year old gate.

    • DP

      It’s confusing

    • Sparky

      Most of the Gate is from 1928 (when the Stadium was expanded in LF).

      The bottom section is from 1923 and the top 15 feet from 1976.

      So no, not “30” years old.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

    For years, the advocacy group has pushed a $1 million, low-cost effort to include the part of the original 1923 stadium in the Heritage Park plans, but city officials have claimed that the real cost of the effort would be $15 million.

    What the advocacy group should have focused on: finding corporate sponsors, private donors, and historic/charitable foundations willing to kick money in to help them actually raise at least the 1M they claim (and hopefully more) to make the request happen.

    Non-profit agency: Save Gate 2.
    City/State agencies: No.

    … aaaaaaaaaaaand, SCENE!

    OR:

    Non-profit agency: Save Gate 2.
    City/State agencies: No.
    Non-profit agency: We have money to help you Save Gate 2.
    City/State agencies: Oh, okay, then. That changes everything. Let’s talk.

    … aaaaaaaaaaaand, SCENE!

    • Sparky

      The cost issue was just one of many excuses. The Parks Dept was going to reject this plan even if it cost $1.50. They would have found other excuses. They just didn’t want to do it.

  • http://iheartrerun.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/rerun.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    What is the review process like for substantial changes made to approved plans for large-scale projects like YS3? I ask because we’re seeing the same thing happen with YS3 as we saw happen with the Atlantic Yards project – the city, with input from the communities involved, approved a set of plans that were shown to the public, and then later on the projects changed drastically. The Atlantic Yards project started as a multi-use project including an arena, apartment and office towers, all designed by Frank Gehry. Now, it looks like they’re building an arena and not much else for a while, and they’ve discarded the Gehry designs. With YS3, the original plan called for a bunch of the structure of YS2 to remain as a high school baseball field, and now we’re getting a park with basically no sign of YS2.

    Eh… I know how naive this comment is… But whatever, I think these situations are BS. I think it’s awful that they sell one set of plans to the public and then go and build whatever they want to. With large-scale projects like these, projects that receive substantial governmental assistance, I think it’s awful the way they sell one vision to people and then deliver something different.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      With YS3, the original plan called for a bunch of the structure of YS2 to remain as a high school baseball field, and now we’re getting a park with basically no sign of YS2.

      Standard procedure: The projects get dreamed up by the architects and drafters and put together in a snazzy proposal which goes before the agencies and community boards and gets greenlighted. Only after approval are the plans actually looked at in great detail by contractors and civil engineers, who notice things that require massive project changes.

      With YS2, the key technical detail that was overlooked in the initial project writeup was that the field level is actually about 15 feet BELOW the sidewalk level, meaning the plan to keep the original field (and portions of the lower-level seats) intact had to be scrapped and redrawn. Leaving it as is would mean a sharply inclined slope in numerous places of the footprint. Nobody would agree to that slope for safety reasons.

      Nobody checked that out at first, they just assumed the field level was at sidewalk level and you’d rip away the outfield seats and upper decks and the rest would stay as is, and that it would all fit and look nice and not be a safety hazard or pose a logistical problem. But it didn’t.

      • http://iheartrerun.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/rerun.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Yeah, I figured there was a perfectly good reason why they changed the plans. Whatever, they’re all still douchebags.

        And really what’s galling about it is that they showed the public a plan that paid homage to YS2, and the result isn’t going to pay homage to YS2. They didn’t have to do exactly what was in that original plan, but to completely scrap what a lot of people considered to be a pretty substantial part of the plan is just shitty. It’s less about the details, to me, and more that they sold an idea to the public, and then decided to deliver a completely different idea.

      • Sparky

        The plan got changed because the Community wanted to have more fields closer to the neighborhood and not along the Harlem River.

        The only way to get three fields and several track and field facilities on the site was to remove the entire stadium/original field.

        BTW, there are a bunch of sharply inclined slopes in the current plan – these are berms for landscaping and seating; and the walkways cut diagonally across them. Also, they are not raising the fields all that much . . . (the Parks PPT presentation had cross sections which showed this).

  • V

    Viewfinders, really? Viewfinders?

    Gotta love politicians. Nobody but ancient geezers gives a shit about viewfinders.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      “Viewfinders” sounds boring.

      “Viewfinders that allow participants to glimpse past events and an audio tour”… that sounds much, much less boring. That sounds kinda cool, actually.

    • Hughesus Christo

      As Robert Kelly would say, real talk:

      I might go to WHATEVER they put there once. If it’s amazing, I might go once ever 5-10 years. Real talk.

      But while I’m whining about a gate that has was ruinvated™ in the 70s, the people in the area lost a gigantic public park including a full-sized track, a huge skate park, multiple baseball fields, a gigantic greenspace in the south Bronx, etc. This “controversy” is ridiculous. Move the eff on.

  • steve s

    When I raised the Gate 2 issue in the lack of controversy thread yesterday as a non-player related controversy currently affecting the Yanks the response to same was who gives a shit. I’m glad to see Ben and some of the better commentators do give a shit!

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