Members of the Committee to Commemorate Old Yankee Stadium & HistoryOfTheYankees.com have been working diligntly for over a year to protect and preserve the historic Gate 2 Balconies of Old Yankee Stadium from destruction or sale. Our preservation proposal to commemoratively display the balconies, successfully accepted by the City of New York, and now endorsed and duplicated by other groups, is being actively acted upon now by Mayor Bloomberg's Office & Parks Department officials. The letter below is part of an investigative and preservation process that began last June, and which includes extensive communications and negotiations between the City and our two groups:
Dear Mr. Joshua Laird, July 6, 2010
I am writing today on behalf of Chris Jones, Cindy Jones, and Tim Reid of The Committee to Commemorate Old Yankee Stadium, and myself, Bradford H. Turnow, of www.HistoryOfTheYankees.com, to try and get an update on the status of the (3) three balconies from Gate 2. We are in receipt of the pictures that were taken of the balconies just after they were taken from Gate 2. I was there in person on March 31, 2010 when the gate fell and I have hundreds of photographs and video of the actions that were performed that day. I am aware several others also have hundreds of photos and video as well. We have cataloged the events that took place on that day to help make sure the history books are correct. We are of course disappointed in the current condition of the balconies, considering they were in near perfect condition after they fell from Gate 2. They are pictured below. As you can see, they were in near perfect condition at 12:30pm on March 31, 2010. It was the “removal” process that damaged them so greatly.
We know there is is nothing we can do at this point, but move forward and still work on commemorating Old Yankee Stadium as best as we can.
What is the “current” condition of the balconies, and as importantly, are all (3) balconies and all of their “parts” accounted for? We ask for “current” because the photos that were sent to us using FOIL were taken just after the demolition. We would like to ensure that no further damage has occurred to them as they were being stored off-site. We know how much damage they took just being moved a few hundred feet. We hope that better care was taken of them when they were moved to the “off-site storage facility”. We are very concerned as we have photographs of one of the panels/emblems being removed from one of the balconies and being taken away. Can you please reassure us that all (3) three balconies are accounted for, as are all (9) nine of the emblems/panels? There should be (6) six with the baseball logos and (3) three with the NY insignia logo. Of course, 6 are still attached to balcony “B” and ”C”. It the emblems from balcony “A” that concern us.
The 6 photos below show the panel being moved into a cart after it was taken from balcony “A”.
Could you also please update us on the “large piece (size of a desk – 4’ x 6’) of façade/concrete wall” as well as the “arched vent” that you directed Turner and DEMCO to set aside as per your email on April 20, 2010. We would like to know if these items have indeed been stored and are they being considered for incorporation into the new park.
Also, in the unfortunate event that some or all of the pieces are not incorporated into the park, what would the plans be for these piece(s)? As we have already inquired, in the event of the city deciding not to incorporate these items, we would like to acquire them so we can work on donating them ourselves. As we have previously disclosed, we would sign whatever disclosure documents we need to, so that we agree to never sell these items. Our goal is simple…to properly display these for all to see.
Ideally, we would like to see (2) two of the balconies placed in your new park. After carefully examining the photos you provided, it is clear that balconies “B” and “C” are in the best condition and could easily be “restored” to museum quality and to be displayed proudly around your new park. Since balcony “A” is beyond repair, we would like to see the (3) three panels from balcony “A” incorporated into a “picture” type display piece. They can be mounted and displayed beautifully around the park. They are small in size and easy to display. If the panels/emblems could not be displayed, then we would prefer they be donated to museums. One of the panels has the NY insignia and the other 2 have the baseballs. Below is one of the panels that was removed from a different gate years ago. Each is about 2 feet by 1.5 feet.
Possible donors would be the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, The Smithsonian, The Bronx County Historical Society, and/or The Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.
Joshua, we thank you for your time on this matter and look forward to hearing from you ASAP as to update us on these balconies. As the “ground-breaking” ceremony has already taken place, we know things will start to move very quickly now. We thank you for any consideration and hope that the (3) three balconies, the section of wall, and the arched vent can all be displayed proudly around your new park. We know your department is doing everything they can to make this a first-class park, and we know honoring Old Yankee Stadium properly and proudly is the most important step in that process.
We thank you again and look forward to your response.
PS – Good luck with your “Wolverines” this fall! Michigan has its work cut out for them.
Bradford H. Turnow