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Yankee Stadium: Monument Park – Retired Numbers – Reggie Jackson #44
Image by wallyg
Uniform Number Retired: 1993
"Mr. October" ranks among the greatest Yankees of all time despite teh fact that he played only 5 years with the Bombers. He was instrumental in helping the Yankees win two world titles and is best remembered for three clutch homers he walloped in the deciding game of the 1977 World Series. He entered the Hall of Fame in 1993.
Monument Park, created in 1974-75 during renovation of the original Yankee Stadium, housed the flag pole and a collection of monuments, plaques, and retired numbers honoring distinguished members of the New York Yankees. When the stadium was originally constructed, the flag pole was placed in play, over 450 feet from home plate to the left of straightaway center field. After manager Miller Huggins died suddenly of food poisoning, the Yankees erected a monument dedicated to him in front of the flag pole on May 30, 1982. The monument, a plaque mounted on an upright slab of red marble, was later joined by monuments dedicated to Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth upon their deaths, and a number of plaques were mounted behind them on the outside wall.
When the stadium was remodeled, the monuments were moved out of play to an enclosed area between the two bullpens. It wasn’t until 1985 when the left field fence was moved in, though, that the park was opened to fans prior to games and during stadium tours. At that point, the rear fence lining the walkway from the grandstand seats to the monuments, which had been the actual outfield fence from 1976-1984, was adorned with the Yankees’ retired numbers.
The ceremonial monuments are awarded posthumously and are the highest honor of all. The other two Yankees to receive the honor are Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio. Another monument was erected to remember the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Plaques honor: Edward Barrow, Joe McCarthy, Phil Rizzuto, Bill Dickey, Thurman Munson, Jacob Ruppert, Mel Allen, Red Ruffing, Whitey Ford, Reggie Jackson, Lefty Gomez, Casey Stengel, Don Mattingly, Elston Howard, Billy Martin, Allie Reynolds, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra, Ron Guidry, Bob Sheppard, Pope Paul VI, and Pope John Paul II.
The following numbers are retired: 1 (Billy Martin), 3 (Babe Ruth), 4 (Lou Gehrig), 5 (Joe DiMaggio), 7 (Mickey Mantle), 8 (Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra), 9 (Roger Maris), 10 (Phil Rizzuto), 15 (Thurman Munson), 16 (Whitey Ford), 23 (Don Mattingly), 32 (Elston Howard), 37 (Casey Stengel), 42 (Jackie Robinson), 44 (Reggie Jackson), and 49 (Ron Guidry).
When the Yankees moved to the new new Yankee Stadium in 2009, a new Monument Park was built beyond the center-field fences, and everything was transported over.
The original Yankee Stadium, located at East 161st Street and River Avenue, served as the home baseball park of Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees from 1923 to 1973 and, after extensive renovations, from 1976 to 2008. Nicknamed "The House that Ruth Built", it was the first three-tiered sports facility in the United States and one of the first baseball parks to be given the lasting title of stadium. Yankee Stadium hosted 6,581 Yankees regular season home games, and 37 World Series during its 85-year history. Yankee Stadium was the home of the National Football League’s New York Giants from 1956-1973, before they relocated ultimately to Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands, including the 1958 NFL championship game, and other short-lived professional football franchises including the three incarnations of the AFL’s New York Yankees (1926, 1936-37, 1941), the AAFC’s New York Yankees (1946-49), the NFL’s New York Yanks (1950-51). It hosted three papal masses–Pope Paul VI (1965), Pope John Paul II (1979), and Pope Benedict XVI (2008); thirty championship prizefights–including Joe Louis-Max Schmeling and Muhammad Ali-Ken Norton; two professional soccer franchies–the USA/NASL’s New York Generals (1967-68) and the NASL’s New York Cosmos (1971, 1976); and college football–including the annual Notre Dame-Army game from 1925 through 1947.
The Yankees had shared the Polo Grounds with the New York Giants since 1913, but strained relations between the two teams led owners Tillinghast L’Hommedieu Huston and Jacob Ruppert to build their own stadium on a 10-acre lumberyard within sight of Coogan’s Bluff. Originally designed by Osborn Engineering and built by the White Construction Company at a cost of .5 million, the stadium opened on April 18, 1923, with the Yankees beating the Boston Red Sox 4-1. By the late 1960s, the stadium’s condition had badly deteriorated. After the stadium was purchased by the City of New York in 1972, it closed for a two-year facelift following the 1973 season, with the Yankees taking up temporary residence at Shea Stadium in the interim. The renovations by Praeger-Kavanaugh-Waterbury significantly altered the appearance of the stadium. 118 columns reinforcing each tier of the grandstand were removed, the Stadium’s roof, including its distinctive 15-foot copper frieze, was replaced by a new upper shell, and a white painted concrete replica of the frieze was added atop the wall encircling the bleachers. The Stadium’s playing field was lowered and shortened and Monument Park was created.
In 2007, Yankee Stadium was ranked #84 on the AIA 150 America’s Favorite Architecture list.
NYC – Bowling Green: Alexander Hamilton Custom House – Rotunda fresco
Image by wallyg
The Alexander Hamilton Custom House is one of New York’s finest examples of Beaux Arts architecture, incorporating City Beautiful Movement planning principles with architecture, engineering, and fine arts. The seven story structure with 450,000 square feet sits on three city block in Bowling Green.
It is here, at the southern terminus of the old Algonquin trade route, Wiechquaekeck Trail, that Peter Minuet purchased the island of Manhattes for trinkets valued at 60 guilders, or about , from the Lenape Indians in 1626. Soon thereafter the Dutch West India Company built Fort Amsterdam on this site, which came to be the nucleus for the New Amsterdam settlement. After the American Revolution the fort was replaced by the brick Government House, which was intended to be but never used as a residence for the President. Instead it became the residence of New York Governors DeWitt Clinton and John Jay. The building served briefly as the Custom House from 1799 and 1815 before being torn down and replaced with rowhouses.
Before a federal income tax was imposed in 1916, a primary source of revenue for the federal government was custom duty. New York City, as the country’s most active port, has had a Custom House since the country’s founding in in 1781. In 1899, the United States Department of the Treasury acquired the Bowling Green property and sponsored a competition to build a new U.S. Custom House. Minnesotan Cass Gilbert, who later designed the Woolworth Building, won the competition by designing a building that was not just a functional building for commerce, but exuded a palatial grandeur. Construction began in 1900 and completed in 1907.
The interior of the building is dominated by the huge rotunda, which survives as one of the largest public spaces in New York. Commissioned In 1936 as part of the Treasury Relief Art Project, Reginald Marsh was commissioned to paint the elliptical space around the 140-ton skylight with sixteen frescoes. The larger sections portray eight successive stages of the arrival of an ocean liner in the harbor. Eight smaller panels, painted in grisaille to simulate statuary, depict famous explorers like Amerigo Vespucci, Christopher Columbus, Giovanni da Verrazano and Henry Hudson.
Above the main cornice on the sixth story are standing sculptures representing the great commercial sea-faring nations, from the Phoenicians to the Americans.
Central to Gilbert’s design of the Custom House were four separate sculptures to be placed at the front entrance of the Custom House, representing four continents (from left to right) – Asia, America, Europe and Africa. Gilbert asked both Daniel Chester French and August Saint-Gaudens both to submit designs for the sculptures. Saint-Gaudens declined the invitation, citing other work he was occupied with, so French received the commission. French began designing the sculptures of "Continents" in 1903 and they were completed and installed in 1907. Art scholars consider French’s "Continents" to be perhaps the best examples of architecture sculpture in the United States. Each of the four "Continents" represent a view of the continents through French’s early 20th century lens: Asia and Africa are still cloaked in mystery, Europe is in the waning years of its colonial conquests, and America is emerging as a new, vibrant society.
The building was subsequently abandoned in the 1970’s and was scheduled for demolition before being saved and restored in the early 1980’s. In 1987, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York occupied the building and in 1994, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian took over two floors of the Old Custom House.
The United States Custom House was designated a landmark by the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1965. Its interior was designated separately in 1979.
National Historic Register #72000889