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New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The John T. Brush Stairway
 
The John T. Brush Stairway Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Colin J. Coghlan, May 26, 2010
1. The John T. Brush Stairway Marker
 
Inscription. The John T. Brush Stairway Presented by the New York Giants
 
Erected 1913 by The New York Giants Baseball Team.
 
Location. 40° 49.95′ N, 73° 56.367′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is on Edgecombe Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. The John T.Brush Stairway descends down to the former location of the Polo Grounds in an easterly direction from Edgecombe Avenue through Highbridge Park to The Harlem River Drive (The Speedway). The area is known as Coogan's Bluff. According to historical information from the NYC Parks Department annual reports, "The Speedway" was used for carrige horse racing where it derived it name. Marker is at or near this postal address: 523 Edgecombe Avenue, New York NY 10032, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Morris-Jumel Mansion (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Morris-Jumel Mansion (about 700 feet away); Polo Grounds (approx. 0.2 miles away); Middle Redoubt of the American Army   1776 (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Main Line of Defences (approx. 0.4 miles away); The First Line of Defence (approx. 0.6 miles away); Site of Hilltop Park (approx. 0.7 miles away); "Pete" Sheehy (approx. 0.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in New York.
 
The John T. Brush Stairway Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Colin J. Coghlan, May 26, 2010
2. The John T. Brush Stairway Marker
Looking dowward to the east toward Harlem River Drive.
 

 
More about this marker. Highbridge Park and the John T. Brush Stairway are slated for restoration as part of Mayor Bloomberg's Plan NYC 2030 program. The stairs are not open to the public at the present time but can be seen from both the Harlem River Drive and Edgecombe Avenue.
 
Regarding The John T. Brush Stairway. John T. Brush was the owner of the New York Giants Baseball team. In 1891 Brush purchased a parcel of land from James J. Coogan on which Brush built the first Polo Grounds on that site. The structure burned completely in 1911 and a subsequent more durable structure was built. The venue was called "Brush Stadium" through 1919 when it became the "Polo Grounds".

The John T. Brush Stairway is the only vestige of the Polo Grounds that remains. It is literally a stairway to New York City Baseball history. Three of New York's four baseball teams called the Polo Grounds their homefield at various times - The New York Giants, The New York Yankees and the New York Mets. It may have been the only MLB park to host three baseball teams.

In 1957 Giants owner Horace Stoneham relocated the Giants to San Francisco California. The Polo Grounds would survive as the first home of the New York Mets until 1964 when William A. Shea Municipal Stadium opened in Flushing and the New York Mets moved into their new state of the art facility.

From the top of the stairs both the Polo Grounds and Yankee Stadium were visible. The bottom of the stairs lead to the Polo Grounds ticket booths. The stairway made it easy for residents of the Highbridge neighborhood to access the Polo Grounds in an age before automobiles were prevalent.
 
The John T. Brush Stairway Photo, Click for full size
By Colin J. Coghlan, May 26, 2010
3. The John T. Brush Stairway
Looking up to the west toward Edgecombe Avenue
 

 
Also see . . .
1. Highbridge Park - John T. Brush Stairway. (Submitted on May 29, 2010, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York.)
2. New York City Walk. (Submitted on May 29, 2010, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York.)
3. John T. Brush Stairway - Lost in the outfield of NY baseball history. (Submitted on June 29, 2010, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York.)
4. Restoration of the John T. Brush Stairway. Work began in November 2011 on the one year restoration project. (Submitted on December 10, 2011, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York.) 

5. Update on renovation progress. (Submitted on June 4, 2013, by Colin Coghlan of Ramsey, New Jersey.)
 
Additional keywords. New York Giants Baseball, Polo Grounds, Coogan's Bluff
 
The John T. Brush Stairway Photo, Click for full size
By Colin J. Coghlan, May 26, 2010
4. The John T. Brush Stairway
View west toward Edgecombe Avenue.
 
 
Post Card Showing the Polo Grounds from Coogan's Bluff Photo, Click for full size
5. Post Card Showing the Polo Grounds from Coogan's Bluff
 
 
May 13, 1913 article about John T. Brush Stairway construction Photo, Click for full size
6. May 13, 1913 article about John T. Brush Stairway construction
 
 
Continuation Of Newspaper Article Photo, Click for full size
By Mary Ellen Coghlan
7. Continuation Of Newspaper Article
 
 
The John T. Brush Stairway as depicted on 1916 NYC Tax Map Photo, Click for full size
By NYC Tax Map
8. The John T. Brush Stairway as depicted on 1916 NYC Tax Map
 
 
The John T. Brush Stairway 1916 Tax Map Photo, Click for full size
By NYC Tax Map
9. The John T. Brush Stairway 1916 Tax Map
Illustrates relation to Polo Grounds.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on May 29, 2010, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York. This page has been viewed 3,310 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on May 29, 2010, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York.   8, 9. submitted on May 31, 2010, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Pictures of the stairwell after restoration is completed. • Can you help?
 
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