Wow, a lot of speculation and a lot of wishful thinking about Gate 2 lately. I would just like to take a few moments to address some things (along with some shameless advertising of our effort to follow).
First off, we've talked with a source about the demolition--at this time, there is still no planned preservation of Gate 2. The escalator pod is coming down to make room for equipment to get in and out of the Stadium for continuing demolition. As I've stated before, concrete from the Stadium will be crushed on-site to fill the very land it occupied for 88 years, this has already been started (from what I can see in the pictures), but will likely be more intense with the demolition reaching the upper deck and outer walls of the Stadium. With a little luck, Gate 2 will be spared this fate, but we need all the help we can get to have support behind this--more on that later.
Second, I have no idea the significance of the X's that stop just before 161st Street, but I can ask and hopefully shed some light on the situation.
Third, there have been a fair number of people expressing concern of graffiti over the months that we've been pushing for this.
Make no mistake, vandalization can, does and will happen to any and all parts of a public park in a city as large as New York. But a few major things are often overlooked.
Gate 2, preserved as a monument, will a crowning piece of Heritage Field at Macombs Dam Park. This means that Gate 2 will remain (much as it has since the 1970's) the property of the City of New York. Granted, it will no longer have tenants in charge of any upkeep, but rather the City itself would--specifically, the Department of Parks & Recreation.
As such, maintenance of Gate 2 would be no different than Building J along the Harlem River, an old Powerhouse, not more than a mile away from Yankee Stadium, that was remodeled as part of Mill Pond park, which now features small cafes and play areas for children.
While it is obvious that things like graffiti will happen, it's always important to keep in mind that Gate 2 would become a part of the City's monumental treasures, a piece of iconic New York history and crowning point for the three baseball fields sitting where Yankee Stadium stood proud for so many years. Moreover, Gate 2 would be no different than Washington Square's Arc de Triomphe, or the beautiful and unique bridges of Central Park, of which no two are alike--or any of the several other structures of various form that New York's Parks Department is gracious enough to upkeep for millions to see and admire.
Yankee Stadium is such an irreplaceable gem of the City of New York for all its sporting, American, religious and even political history. Would it be fair to say we obliterate it out of fear for a few cans of spray paint? Yankee Stadium has endured graffiti before, just watch the beginning of the old Odd Couple tv show to see what I mean (I'm sure if Gary reads this, he would be kind enough to post Jack Klugmann with the hot dog in his mouth, walking out of the Stadium on a sunny afternoon sometime in the early 70's).
Besides, if we are lucky, someone might just take it upon themselves to illustrate a great mural as a tribute to all the history that took place when Gate 2 was part of something more, something grand.
Maybe something similar to the one painted on the wall adjacent to a small parking lot on 157th Street. One that might not survive the water park that is about to be constructed on that very lot. I'm not positive on that one, so don't quote me on it--but I didn't see the mural on any of the renderings of the water park back when I saw the Parks presentation on the Yankee Stadium neighborhood back in June of '09.
Almost as an afterthought, a small refreshment building with bathrooms is to be installed along what was Ruppert Place (or, since we're talking history, Doughrty Street). What is to become of this building? Should it not be constructed because of the threat of vandals? Just food for thought.
The bottom line is that Gate 2 would serve as such a monument to history of all kinds, that the idea of destruction to prevent something as small as a can of spray paint is an inferior argument. Gate 2's preservation would mean vandalism at some point, but rest assured that the monument would be watched and cared for by an organization dedicated to watching over several other iconic elements of New York's history and culture.
Even the Roman Colosseum has been subject to graffiti over time.
However, it cannot be done without support. Support that needs to come in the form of some sort of activism, whether it be small or great.
The battle for this treasure is not waged on message boards, where the words of several are seldom heard. It is waged in the public eye, in the form of contacting those who are in a position to make a difference and just need to see that this plan would benefit the masses, instead of the small number of people that are constantly vying for their attention to this extremely important matter. It is a battle for history.
I've spent so much time looking into history, reading about it, watching as much as I could. But now, I see a chance for us all to rise to a new level--to live in it, to be a part of it, and to help shape it so that future generations can look back and say that those who cared made sure it was preserved.
But to quote Sean Connery; "What are you prepared to do?"
Remember way back at the beginning of this, I mentioned some shameless advertising?
Right now, if you go to the link below, you will see a Call to Action. A way to help that will take little of your time, but will be a milestone in the fight for Gate 2. All the directions are there, you just need about five minutes (if that) and you're done.
The push for Gate 2 has come a long way from a couple of conference calls with a few forum members. In October, the Design Commission of New York voted to table the Parks Department's proposal until they could come back with something that conveyed the majesty and awe of Yankee Stadium--several mentioning Gate 2 specifically as well as expressing support. This was a huge step, but without the help of many, the hard work of the few will go completely unnoticed.
When the books are written and the documentaries aired about the final chapter of Yankee Stadium, Gate 2 WILL be mentioned, but what is said about it will depend greatly on what you do to help. Moreover than that, when it's said, will you be able to say that you have been a part of it?
I plead with you to please go to our site, take some time there to go over things, check out all of our press releases, which can be found in the More Info section, and reach out to those listed in the link above.
If any of you would prefer speak to myself or committee members specifically, my contact information is below.
savetheyankeegate2 [at] gmail [dot] com