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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 image. 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.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSports.
 
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. 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 carriage horse racing where it derived it name. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 523 Edgecombe Avenue, New York NY 10032, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Polo Grounds (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sugar Hill Luminaries Lawn (about 700 feet away); Morris-Jumel Mansion (about 700 feet
The John T. Brush Stairway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Colin J. Coghlan, May 26, 2010
2. The John T. Brush Stairway Marker
Looking downward to the east toward Harlem River Drive.
away); a different marker also named Morris-Jumel Mansion (about 700 feet away); Greg Marius Court (approx. ¼ mile away); Holcombe Rucker Park (approx. ¼ mile away); Middle Redoubt of the American Army   1776 (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Church of the Intercession (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
 
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 home field 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
The John T. Brush Stairway image. 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
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.
 
Also see . . .
1. New York City Walk. (Submitted on May 29, 2010, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York.)
2. 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.) 
 
Additional keywords. New York Giants Baseball, Polo Grounds, Coogan's Bluff
 
The John T. Brush Stairway image. 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 image. 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 image. Click for full size.
6. May 13, 1913 article about John T. Brush Stairway construction
Continuation Of Newspaper Article image. Click for full size.
By Mary Ellen Coghlan
7. Continuation Of Newspaper Article
The John T. Brush Stairway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Erik Lander, September 27, 2014
8. The John T. Brush Stairway Marker
The John T. Brush Stairway Marker, restored image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, May 10, 2019
9. The John T. Brush Stairway Marker, restored
The stairway was decrepit and closed to the public until the completion of a restoration that ended in 2015.
The John T. Brush Stairway as depicted on 1916 NYC Tax Map image. Click for full size.
By NYC Tax Map
10. The John T. Brush Stairway as depicted on 1916 NYC Tax Map
The John T. Brush Stairway 1916 Tax Map image. Click for full size.
By NYC Tax Map
11. The John T. Brush Stairway 1916 Tax Map
Illustrates relation to Polo Grounds.
The John T. Brush Stairway Park image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, May 10, 2019
12. The John T. Brush Stairway Park
81 steps down Coogan's Bluff from Edgecombe Avenue to the Harlem River Driveway.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 27, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 29, 2010, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York. This page has been viewed 5,208 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on May 29, 2010, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York.   8. submitted on September 30, 2014, by Erik Lander of Brooklyn, New York.   9. submitted on May 10, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.   10, 11. submitted on May 31, 2010, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York.   12. submitted on May 10, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 27, 2021