Posted on February 5, 2012
Click on image to read about Coogan's Bluff Brush Staircase
More on the old Polo Grounds Brush Staircase
February 6, 2012
As part of the Bloomberg administration’s PlaNYC2030 program, Highbridge Park is set for an overhaul, including the historic, and long-closed High Bridge — as well as the staircase.
The cost of repairing the staircase is about $1.2 million, according to city officials. So far, the city has only $400,000 to pay for it — all of it from the office of the Manhattan borough president, Scott M. Stringer.
Mr. Stringer, 47, who grew up in Washington Heights, near the stadium, said he never saw a game there. Indeed, Mr. Stringer said when someone mentions the Polo Grounds to him, his mind does not turn to images of Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron or Sugar Ray Robinson.
“When I think of the Polo Grounds, I think of the housing development and the people who live there,” he said.
As for the staircase, Mr. Stringer said he had no idea it existed until the Parks Department asked him to help finance its restoration. “It was sort of left to us,” he said. “But we’ll make sure the inscription is restored.”
(For the record, Mr. Stringer said he follows both the Mets and Yankees, but at heart, is a Jets fan.)
Adrian Benepe, the commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation, said the park “has undergone a significant rebirth in the last 10 years with more than $10 million worth of improvements completed or in progress” and that an additional $75 million in projects were already underway or planned. “Even with all that, there’s still more work we need to do on this historic park, including finding some additional funding for the Brush Stairway renovation,” he said.
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