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On a cold and blustery day on October 28, 1961, shovels broke ground in Queens for the first stadium to be built in New York City since 1923. The steel and concrete structure that grew in Flushing was originally going to be named “Flushing Meadows Stadium” but in the fall of 1962, civic leader Bernard Gimbel spearheaded a campaign to rename the facility Shea Stadium in honor of the man (popular attorney William A. Shea) who was the driving force in bringing a National League team back to the Big Apple.
The architectural firm of Praeger-Kavanagh-Waterbury designed the stadium to be the second all-purpose facility in the country capable of hosting baseball and football games, seating 55,300 for baseball and over 60,000 for New York Jets games. D.C. Stadium in Washington, opened in 1962, was the first all-purpose facility built just a year earlier. In June of 1962, steel grids began crawling skyward. Six months later the shell of Shea was completed and by July of 1963 pre-cast concrete units covered the steel framework.
Two bitterly cold winters in 1962 and 1963 and more than 17 different labor strikes forced Shea to open a year later than planned. The 45-acre plot where the young Mets could finally feel at home was the same land the city offered to Dodgers President Walter O’Malley in the mid 1950′s before he bolted for the comforts of Los Angeles. (Folklore stories have long rumored that when city officials scouted out stadium sites, they went during the winter, when flight paths into LaGuardia are different, so they never anticipated the amount of aircraft noise during the summer).
Read more: here.
Pure underground noir.
Danny Lyon is a self-taught American photographer and filmmaker. He was born in 1942 in Brooklyn, New York and is the son of Russian-Jewish mother Rebecca Henkin and German-Jewish father Ernst Fredrick Lyon. Self-taught, and driven by his twin passions for social change and the medium of photography, the power of Lyon’s work has often derived from his willingness of immerse himself entirely in the cultures and communities he documents.
Joel Meyerowitz (born March 6, 1938) is a street photographer, and portrait and landscape photographer. He began photographing in color in 1962 and was an early advocate of the use of color during a time when there was significant resistance to the idea of color photography as serious art.
Don’t feel dizzy or wish you could speed down the frames coming fast and furious. This was the avant-garde.
This is New York…in 1968.
NYT’s Andy Newman writes:
It is that, to be sure, probably, but it is also a time capsule: a high-speed summer stroll on what looks to be a weekend up Broadway, past the Strand Bookstore through Union Square and on until the filmmaker can literally walk no farther: the water’s edge.
While such time-lapse movies (videos) have become commonplace these days, they were pretty radical back then, and thanks to the miracle of the pause button (who knows what Frampton would have had to say about that) you can dive deep into every frame.
Some of us here have found it remarkable to see how much the city has changed in 44 years. Others noted that the city’s streets feel pretty much the same.
You be the judge.
(**Check out the slowed-down version of the clip as sent in by a NYT reader)