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.