New York Yankees develop site in Marble Hill

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    • #1146
      Thomas Casey

      At the last Kingsbridge Historical Society meeting on October 17th 2019, I presented a well know image of the Kingsbridge from a postcard published by Charles H. Buck of Kingsbridge.  Mr. Buck produced over 40 images of Kingsbridge and Inwood, in Manhattan.  I could not recall where Mr. Buck’s shop was located, he was both a pharmacist and photographer.  As one thing leads to another, wanting to lock down where Mr. Bucks store was located, I found a letter written to Mr. Buck from his former clerk who was serving in the military during World War I. The letter was published in ” The Pharmacist” journal and gave Mr. Buck’s address as 5228 Broadway, NY NY, which is actually in the Marble Hill section of Manhattan.  I also checked  “Riverdale, Kingsbridge, Spuyten Duyvil New York City by Rev. William A. Tieck  which stated on page 105 that  “Dr. “ Charles H. Buck, opened a little store about 1890 in Parsons Hall, located on the east side of Broadway, south of modern 233rd Street.  When the Hall was torn down, Buck moved to quarters in Yandwill’s Flats, a four story brick business block and tenement which stood on the east side of Broadway just north of 225th street until about 1950.  He was still running the store at the time of his death from influenza in 1919.  Using the New York Public Library’s Digital images and Maps from the early 1900’s I found Mr. Buck’s store on a map, along with site plans of The American League Ballpark for the New York Yankees.  In my readings of the Yankees, I knew that Andrew Freedman, a real estate investor and part owner of the New York Giants used his influence to stop the owners of the Yankees from acquiring any land to build a stadium in Manhattan.  The Yankees were only allowed a franchise on Manhattan Island.  In fact, Mr. Freedman had so much control that he held leases and options all over Manhattan that was often called “Freedman Island”.   The Yankees were left with the worst possible sites to build their ball park before the start of the 1903 season.  They invested substantial funds at Marble Hill, where a Velodrome was later constructed.  However, due to flooding the site was abandoned.  On March 13th, a lot in Washington Heights between 165th and 168th Street was acquired for  $75,000 and due to the rocky grounds, required $200,000 to clear and level the site.  It was an amazing accomplishment that Opening day, April 22, 1903 was ready in a month.    The maps I have attached were found at NYPL  are

      Manhattan, V. 12, Plate No. 81 [Map bounded by Broadway, W. 225th St., Harlem River] and  Bronx, V. 13, Plate No. 15 [Map bounded by W. 230th St., Exterior St., W. 225th St., Broadway.]Kingsbridge Postcard - Charles H. BuckCharles H. Buck shop

      Parsons Hall location


      Map of location of Parsons HallYankee site plans

    • #1147
      Thomas Casey

      I have attached below, a listing of postcards published by Charles H. Buck of Kingsbidge, in the Bronx, with my earliest postmarked 1906:

      1           Bailey Avenue, Looking South from West 230 St

      2           Broadway and 230th Street as it looked in 1890

      3           Bronx Catholic Orphan Asylum (for Girls), Sedwick Avenue & Kingsbridge Road

      4           Church of the Mediator, Kings Bridge Ave, Kings Bridge, NY

      5           Convent of Jesus Mary, Church St, Kings Bridge, NY

      6           Dutch Garden at Van Cortlandt Park

      7           Elmhurst Residence of Mr. G.P. Morosini, Riverdale-on-Hudson, NY

      8           Engine Co. 52, N.Y. Fire Department, Kings Bridge

      9           Engine Company, 81, N.Y.F.D., Kings Bridger, NY

      10        Hadley’s or Farmers’ Bridge, Harlem River & Kings Bridge Road

      11        Hagman’s Tree, Spuyten Duyvil on the Hudson, New York City

      12        Historic Kings Bridge of Revolutionary Days

      13        Kings Bridge Police Station, 40 Precinct, Boston Avenue

      14        Lake & Boat House, Van Cortlandt Park

      15        Looking West from Webb Academy, towards the Palisades, Kings Bridge, NY

      16        New York Public Library, Kings Bridge Branch

      17        Old Godwin Mansion, 228 St Broadway

      18        Old Kings Bridge Hotel.  A Popular Road House of Former Days

      19        Old Station of the NY Central RR at KingsBridge

      20        Old Van Cortlandt Mansion, Van Cortlandt Park

      21        Power House, Looking South from 225 St & Broadway

      22        Presbyterian Chapel at Spuyten Duyvil, NY

      23        Prison Window from the Old Sugar House, in Van Cortlandt Park

      24        Private Residence, Spuyten Duyvil on Hudson

      25        PS No.  7 – Kings Bridge, N.Y.

      26        Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum. ( for Girls) Sedwick Ave and Kingsbridge Road NYC

      27        Scene at Van Cortlandt Park – The Old Mill Waterway

      28        Scene in Dashe’s Lane, Van Cortlandt, NYC

      29        Seton Hospital, Riverdale Ave, Spuyten Duyvil, NY

      30        St Stephen’s ME Church, Marble Hill, Kings Bridge

      31        Spuyten Duyvil Swing Bridge

      32        Temporary Terminus of Subway at 230 St, Kingsbridge, NYC


    • #1153

      Hi, Tom.  Thanks for sharing.  I had not seen that map before with the outline of Yankee stadium there (where the Target is today).  That would have been pretty wild to have the “House that Ruth Built” in Kingsbridge.  It would have made sense given the subway line and multiple train lines going through the area.  From the map it appears that the infield would have been in Manhattan while the outfield would have been in The Bronx.  That would have resulted in some funny in-game commentary for sure!

      I also am curious about some of those postcards because I thought I had seen them all but some of those don’t sound familiar.  Do you own all of them?  If yes, would you mind sharing the one of Dashe’s Lane?

    • #1154
      Thomas Casey

      After searching where I put the Dash’s Lane postcard, I thought it was time to reorganize the Buck section of my 6,736 postcards.  There are 37 Buck postcards that have a Bronx connection and an additional 7 that are strictly in Manhattan.  The 4 that I am missing are

      Spuyten Duyvil swing Bridge     (need)

      Fordham Club House, Morris Ave and High Bridge Road  (need)

      Views of Dyckman Homestead on Harlem Ship Canal. Built 1810 (need)

      Floating Old Ship Canal Draw Bridge from 221st Street and Broadway to 207th Street ( need)

      I added a mystery postcard of a scene in Spuyten Duyvil that I do not know the specific  mansion owners name or

      specific address.

      Posted below is    “Scene in Dashe’s Lane, Van Cortlandt, NYC”

      Scene in Dashe's Lane, Van Cortlandt, NYC

    • #1155
      Thomas Casey

      The writing on the postcard indicates it was either sent by Mrs Ervin of Kingsbridge or that the road in front of the gate leads to Mrs. Ervin’s house.

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