Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Bowling Green / Sports Museum of America

Exploring Downtown

 
 
Bowling Green Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, June 24, 2009
1. Bowling Green Marker
Inscription.
Bowling Green

This little patch of green surrounded by grand Broadway office buildings survives as New York City’s oldest public park – Bowling Green. It served as a cattle pasture and a parade ground before being designated in 1733 as a bowling green by the City’s Common Council, for the “Beauty & ornament of Broadway as well as for the Recreation & Delight of the Inhabitants of this City.” Bowling Green remains one of the few spots in Downtown that would be recognized today by the Dutch settlers of the West India Company who founded the trading post of Nieuw Amsterdam here in the 1620s.

In 1770, the British chose Bowling Green as the site for a gilded, equestrian statue of King George II – followed in 1771 by a fence meant to protect it from hostile colonists. The statue was pulled down on July 9, 1776 by a revolutionary crowd, after the Declaration of Independence was first read in New York, but much of the fence survives, a rare remnant from Colonial times here on the site of the city’s Dutch origins.

Sports Museum of America

Football, baseball, basketball, soccer – what unites Americans more than our love of sports? Over two dozen of the city’s ticker-tape parades – all passing right by 26 Broadway – have honored athletes, including Olympic teams,
Sports Museum of America Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, June 24, 2009
2. Sports Museum of America Marker
tennis champions and World Series winners. What better location for America’s first and only museum celebrating every American sport?

As sports means action, this is no ordinary museum. Even rare artifacts cannot fully convey the thrill of a grand slam or a slam dunk – so interactive exhibits put visitors inside the game and on the field. Be a hockey goalie watching an incoming 100-mph slapshot, or a NASCAR driver screaming around a racetrack. It’s all about reliving those glorious goose-bump moments.

Among its many attractions, the Museum houses the Billie Jean King International Women’s Sports Center, the world’s first hall of fame for female athletes, and the original Heisman Trophy.

Canyon of Heroes

Since 1886, with festivities marking the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, Broadway has seen some 200 ticker-tape parades – grand processions of honorees and dignitaries marching north from Bowling Green up to City Hall Park, to the cheers of thousands of New Yorkers lining the sidewalks. The parades have celebrated everyone from presidents, generals and royalty to aviators, veterans, and athletes. That history is now written in stone – literally – thanks to commemorative plaques installed in the Broadway sidewalks. Each plaque identifies the date of the parade and the name of the honoree, spelling out the history that
"26 Broadway" - formerly the Standard Oil Building, presently home of the Sports Museum of America; image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, March 27, 2010
3. "26 Broadway" - formerly the Standard Oil Building, presently home of the Sports Museum of America;
erected 1885 - Francis H. Kimball, architect.
has transformed Broadway into the “Canyon of Heroes.” You can obtain a history of the parades from the Alliance for Downtown New York, by calling 212.566.6700.
 
Erected by The Alliance for Downtown New York, Inc.
 
Location. 40° 42.339′ N, 74° 0.792′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is at the intersection of Broadway and Morris Street, on the left when traveling south on Broadway. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10004, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 26 Broadway (a few steps from this marker); In Honor of Evacuation Day (within shouting distance of this marker); Cunard Building (within shouting distance of this marker); 175th Anniversary of Greek Independence (within shouting distance of this marker); Francis Makemie (within shouting distance of this marker); McComb Mansion (within shouting distance of this marker); George T. Delacorte (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Bowling Green (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in New York.
 
More about this marker. Several pictures are on the Bowling Green side of the marker. The top right of the marker contains a photograph of
Marker in Downtown Manhattan image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, June 24, 2009
4. Marker in Downtown Manhattan
This photo looks north on Broadway.
Bowling Green, circa 1907. An engraving of Dutch settlers appears on the left side of the marker. It has a caption of “In 1733 three colonists leased what had become a cattle pasture to build a bowling green.” The bottom of the marker features a picture of “Arturo DiModica’s 7,000-pound bronze Charging Bull, a reference to the bulls (optimists) and bears (pessimists) at the stock market.”
The upper right of the Sports Museum of America side of the marker features pictures of some of the artifacts on display in the museum. They have captions of “The legendary Heisman Trophy – named for John Heisman, one of college football’s great coaches – and its annual award ceremony have found a permanent home at the Sports Museum of America. As Athletic Director of New York’s Downtown Athletic Club, Heisman created the voting system to choose the country’s finest collegiate football player.” and “True baseball fans can reel off statistics about the game’s legendary players, from Ted Williams to Reggie Jackson. Here at the Museum they can admire and touch the stars’ actual bats, gloves, and uniforms.” Below this is a photograph of 26 Broadway. It has the caption “Rising above Bowling Green, following the curve of Broadway, 26 Broadway is one of Downtown’s most dramatic skyscrapers – a great Renaissance palace rising into
Marker at Bowling Green image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, June 24, 2009
5. Marker at Bowling Green
Bowling Green and the Charging Bull statue can be seen in this photo behind the marker.
a skyline-piercing tower, a testament to the power and wealth of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company. The tower – best seen not from Broadway but from the harbor – is capped by a giant simulated oil lamp, suggesting the burning oil at the heart of Standard Oil’s vast wealth.” A photograph from one of the parades appears on the bottom left of the marker with the caption “Ticker-tape parades up Broadway’s 'Canyon of Heroes' remain one of the world’s great celebratory events. Millions have crowded Downtown’s narrow streets to cheer on world leaders and champions.”
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Take a tour of the markers in lower Manhattan erected by the Alliance for Downtown New York, Inc.
 
Also see . . .
1. Harbor History. Bowling Green: The Birthplace of New York. (Submitted on June 25, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. Wikipedia entry for 26 Broadway. (Submitted on March 29, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
 
Categories. Colonial EraHeroesSportsWar, US Revolutionary
 
Bowling Green Fence image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 5, 2008
6. Bowling Green Fence
This fence, erected in 1771 by the Common Council, still stands at Bowling Green, New York's earliest park.
Broadway's Charging Bull image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, June 24, 2009
7. Broadway's Charging Bull
Arturo DiModica’s 7,000-pound bronze Charging Bull is located in Bowling Green, across the street from the marker.
Plaque from the Canyon of Heroes image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, June 24, 2009
8. Plaque from the Canyon of Heroes
This plaque commemorates a parade in honor of General Douglas MacArthur that took place April 20, 1951.
Teddy Roosevelt Commemorative Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, June 24, 2009
9. Teddy Roosevelt Commemorative Plaque
The parade held on June 18, 1910 was for former President, and New York City native, Theodore Roosevelt on his return from an African safari.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,854 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   3. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement