NYC Built Two Yankee Stadiums in the Time it Took to Build the Second Avenue Subway

Illustration for article titled NYC Built Two Yankee Stadiums in the Time it Took to Build the Second Avenue Subway

New York City’s Second Avenue Subway is scheduled to open on December 30, 2016—an astounding 96 years after it was first proposed. A lot has happened since 1920. In a charming infographic, DNAinfo looks at all the major infrastructural milestones which NYC accomplished in the time it took to get one subway line built.


It’s a real kick in the pants to scroll through the various projects completed in the almost-century since the Second Avenue Subway was a glimmer in a transit planner’s eye. The Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, JFK Airport, the new/awful Penn Station—these are from another era!—and also a bunch of other transit lines and all the city’s major freeways. But what’s most striking to me is the fact that not one, but two Yankee Stadiums were built in this same time period.

Now granted, New York City wasn’t spending the past century actually building the subway; much of that time was spent boring through the city’s political bedrock. But it is telling that while the MTA was trying its best to scrape together a piece of basic infrastructure that might serve millions of transit-dependent citizens, the city somehow found the money and the will to build an entire baseball stadium, have that stadium reach the end of its natural structural life, and build YET ANOTHER stadium.

Also, as Gawker’s Tom Scocca just pointed out to me, technically it’s three Yankee Stadiums as the stadium was completely refurbished in the 1970s. Priorities.



Alissa is the former urbanism editor at Gizmodo.



Come on, you guys. Yankee Stadium wasn’t built by the city, it was built by the Yankees. Then, ok, sure, it was renovated by the city, 50 years after it was first built. And the city did build the new one. But not because it “reached the end of its natural structural life.”

There was a scare in 1998 after an expansion joint fell out of the upper deck, but that did not happen because the building had “reached the end of its natural life.” It was the result of neither the Yankees, nor the city, doing proper maintenance. In fact, according to the president of Osborn Engineering, the firm that originally built the old stadium, “If you maintained it like the George Washington Bridge, it would last forever.”

Saying that the building outlived its structure life, even in passing, just perpetuates a very expensive myth.…