Friday, April 29, 2016

The High Bridge and the Park

High Bridge, New York c. 1880
Tinted Stereoview by the New York Stereoscopic Co.

Welcome to The High Bridge -- Its Past, Present & Future website.  This site connects all interested parties on exciting developments associated with The High Bridge, Highbridge Park, and the immediately surrounding area.

We are in the process of sprucing up our site and making it more presentable.  As most of you already know, the High Bridge was reopened on June 9, 2015 after about 45 years of having been closed and years of planning and reconstruction.  The adjacent Highbridge Park is also undergoing extensive refurbishment as part of the NYCPlan 2030, and the immediate neighborhood near the Park, particularly along Amsterdam and Edgecombe avenues is starting to experience a renaissance with building renovations and new commercial ventures.
With this in mind, we are now shifting gears away from the reconstruction of The High Bridge to the other improvements that will be forthcoming.  We also recognize that there will be more visitors to the bridge, the Highbridge Park, and the surrounding areas, so we will be providing more information for those who do not have familiarity with the area and its attractions. 
At present the public funding for the improvements and redevelopment effort for the Bridge and the Park have exceeded $100 Million. On Jan. 11, 2013 Mayor Michael Bloomberg broke ground on the construction phase of the plan for the redevelopment of the High Bridge and the cost of reopening the bridge has been publicized at $61.8 Million.

On June 9, 2015, the official reopening ceremony of the High Bridge occurred. (Please see the specific posts for this event).  On July 25, 2015 the High Bridge Festival celebrating the reopening of the High Bridge occurred.

There are many other activities progressing simultaneously with the redevelopment of the High Bridge. This web site focuses on the developments in and immediately adjacent to The High Bridge and Highbridge Park.  Please make sure to scroll down to see previous posts on new and exciting developments.

It is our belief that with this site we can foster an appreciation of the past, an understanding of the present and a catalyst for the development of the future needs of this immediate area.

Hopefully, we will find common ground to dramatically improve the buildings, the retail establishments and the quality of life in such a way as to compliment the redevelopment effort associated with the High Bridge and High Bridge Park and make this area a destination for more of the millions of residents of New York City and some of the more than tens of millions of visitors who come to New York City each year.

Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, Sept 6, 1879

Please contact us and let us know if you have any interests in participating as a contributor, volunteer, or merely to coordinate with your community organization, or even if you are just an interested neighborhood resident. If you want to contribute to the site with any comments please feel free to do so.

Organizationally, we have been adding information to each page as it is appropriate.  You should return to pages on a regular and frequent basis to catch up on latest developments on each topic.  We have also provided for reader feedback at the bottom of each topic.

There are over 100 posts with information and pictures on all sorts of topics. Information about the history of the High Bridge and the building of the aqueduct, articles about what is going on right now, and articles about the future changes that we all hope will come to the High Bridge, the park, and the surrounding neighborhoods. Please click on the Area of Interest on the right and a whole host of topics will present themselves. Or, you may scroll through the archive of articles on the right to find and article of interest to you. Or, you may also search by keyword in the box provided at the right above the archive listings. Or, you may just scroll down and look at the articles in chronological order going backward in time.

 If you are experiencing any difficulty using our site please let us know.

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last modified 7/28/2015

Park & Rec Drops Plans for Ice Skating Rink at Highbridge Park

Both DNA INFO and New York News Grio have reported that plans for an uptown skating rink in Highbridge Park at the swimming pool during the winter season have been dropped after a failure to get interest from businesses to develop, operate and manage it with financial support from the Parks & Rec Department.  The project would have put the skating rink above the wading pool on Amsterdam Ave. at 173rd St. and would have included three mobile food outlets, a warming tent and a shop.
At the Community Board 12 meeting on Tuesday it was revealed that there were no bids on the second request for proposals put out by the Parks & Rec Department.  Parks & Rec had allocated $1.3 million for the project.

This was the second request for proposals and they made extensive outreach to potential ice skating concessionaires and adjusted the language of the first request for proposals to make it more appealing, allowing for more flexibility and creativity with regards to the layout of the ice rink, including allowing the rink operator to use more of the locker rooms, run a holiday market and sell alcoholic beverages for special events provided they obtain a license for it.
Now that the ice rink idea has been dropped, they are requesting that the community send thoughts about what to do with the funds that had been allocated for the project.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

EEAC Plans Tour of The High Bridge on Saturday, May 14th 1pm

Join EEAC for a guided tour of the High Bridge! The High Bridge is the oldest standing bridge in New York City, having originally opened as an aqueduct in 1848 and reopened as a pedestrian walkway in 2015 after being closed for over 40 years. Two tour guides from Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct will guide participants over the bridge with an optional extension to the Morris-Jumel Mansion. There is a separate fee of $10 for those adult who wish to tour the historic mansion. 
The meeting point is on the sidewalk at 165th St. and Edgecombe Ave., in front of the park sign for Adventure Playground, which is part of Highbridge Park in Manhattan. Participants will walk to and from the bridge on a paved path that takes about 10-15 min.  In case of inclement weather, the tour will be rescheduled for a later date.

There's no shade on the bridge so please bring hats, sunscreen, etc. to protect your skin.
This tour is limited to 20 adults.  For more information click here.

Established in 1974, EEAC has advocated for excellence in formal and informal education in New York City and beyond. EEAC provides a network and forum for all committed to environmental education to grow professionally and to share ideas and information.
EEAC is the only nonprofit organization with the sole purpose of promoting and supporting outstanding environmental education in New York City schools and other centers for learning. EEAC provides a wide range of programs and services and relays information about environmental education resources and issues. It serves as New York City's umbrella environmental education organization, bringing together people and resources throughout the metropolitan area.

Friday, April 22, 2016

A Life Found in a Bottle "Adolph J. Linser Pharmacist Amsterdam Ave. & 167 St NY"

An old purple medicine bottle was found with a pharmacist's label stamped into the glass: Adolph J. Linser Pharmacist Amsterdam Ave & 167 St. NY.  This bottle allows us to look into the life of this individual at a particular point in the history of this city near Highbridge Park.

Adolph Joseph Linser was born in Austria on July 2, 1869 to Joseph and Hannah (nee Malin) Linser. The family immigrated to the United States in 1870 when he was one year of age.  He was apparently educated in the United States and as a youth of 14 years of age he matriculated in pharmacy training.

One can only imagine the state of pharmacological science education in the 1880s. After all, this was in an era before the Food and Drug Administration which was created by the establishment of the FDA in 1906.

The Pharmaceutical ERA, 1887, shows that Adolph Linser passed the examination of the Board of Pharmacy as a Pharmacist, in Brooklyn, NY at the age of about 18.

Adolph Linser married Anna Loewe, age 17, on March 15, 1891 in New York City.  Anna's parents were August Loewe and Frances Neuschwanter. Anna was born in New York City in 1874.

The Bulletin of Pharmacy for 1894 shows Adolph J. Linser is operating as a Pharmacist in  New York City.

The Pharmaceutical ERA March 3, 1898 shows "A. J. Linser has succeeded  Dr. H.M.S. King in the proprietorship of the pharmacy long operated by the latter at 2161 Amsterdam Ave. in Manhattan. This is the location that is stamped on the the medicine bottle illustrated above.

The Printers' Ink, April 6, 1898, shows Adolph J. Linser at  having a business at 2161 Amsterdam Ave. near 167th St.

Trow's Business Directory of Manhattan for 1898 shows Adolph J. Linser, Pharmacist, 2161 Amsterdam Ave.

The 1900 US Census shows Adolph Linser and his family of two children living in Washington Heights section of Manhattan.

The ERA Druggists' Directory for 1906, shows A. Linser operating a pharmacy at 2161 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY.

Sometime between 1906 and 1910 Adolph Linser appears to have ceased operating his pharmacy on Amsterdam Ave. and opened a pharmacy in Newark, NJ.  Therefore, the bottle pictured above is from between 1898 and 1910, and more likely from between 1899 and 1909.

The ERA Druggists' Directory for 1908 and 1910,  does not show A. Linser.  However, the 1910 US Census shows Adolph Linser as living in Newark, NJ.

The ERA Druggists' Directory for 1911 and 1913, show A. Linser at 108 Bowery, Newark, NJ.

The 1915 New Jersey State Census shows Adolph Linser residing in Newark, NJ.

The Newark, NJ Business Directory for 1916 shows Adolph J. Linser, Pharmacist,  located at 108 Bowery in that city.

The Practical Druggist, March, 1916 "A. J. Linser succeeds Chas. Turner at 1759 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn"  So, it appears that Adolph gave up his business in Newark around 1916 and moved to Brooklyn.

In the Journal of the National Association of Retail Druggists in 1917, it states "at a meeting held December 13, the Greater Ridgewood (Brooklyn, NY) Pharmaceutical Association elected the following officers:  A. J. Linser, President..."

The New York Times reported the Federal Court Calendar for the Eastern District of New York on Sept. 19, 1919 including a motion in a Bankruptcy Proceeding for Adolf J. Linser.

The 1920 US Census shows Adolph J Linser living in Queens, NY.

The New York Times reported on April 19, 1928 that A. J. Linser of Englewood, NJ has bought two plots in the Country Club Estates development at Teaneck, NJ. 

The 1930 US Census shows Adolph J Linser living in Bergenfield NJ.  Virginia B. Linser is listed as his wife.  Did Adolph's first wife, Anna, die prior to the 1930 census?  She would have been 56 years of age in 1930.  Or, more likely, was Adolph divorced from Anna?  Records show that there was an Anna Linser who was also born in 1874, died in Brooklyn in 1948. This would certainly point toward divorce.

The 1940 US Census shows Adolph J Linser, age 70, born in 1869 in Austria, being a naturalized US citizen and living at 166 Jefferson Ave., Tenafly, NJ., married to Virginia B. Linser, age 64.  It also shows that in 1935 the family lived in Essex County NJ (Newark?)

Adolph Linser died on April 1, 1963 at the age of 93.  The death certificate indicated that Adolph resided in New York City.

Adolph Linser and his first wife Anna (nee Loewe) had at least four children, including August, Elsie, Helen, and Ruth. 

Social Security number 141-14-0350 [indicating New Jersey, Social Security was enacted in 1935 and taxes were first collected in 1937.

If anyone can add any additional information it would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, April 10, 2016


This beautiful antique advertising card shows a horse drawn trolley with the captions "High Bridge",  "New Route to High Bridge", "Fare 5cts.", "To New Parks", "L D & C", "Base Ball Match this Afternoon", "Polo Grounds", "New York vs. Cleveland", and "225".

While the Giants were formed as a team in the National League in 1883, they did not move into the Polo Grounds near High Bridge Park until after the 1888 season.  The Giants won the World Series in 1888 and 1889.

On the other hand, a Cleveland team was originally formed as part of the National League in 1882 and it was called the Cleveland Forest Citys.  That same season the name was subsequently changed to the Cleveland Blues.  The team had a mediocre record and ultimately merged with the St. Louis Maroons the following year, 1885.  Cleveland then went without a major league baseball team for two years, and then, in 1887, they did form a new team, the Spiders, that was part of the American Association.  Then, in 1889 when the American Association dissolved, the Spiders became part of the National League.  They did not change their name to "The Indians" until 1915.

So, the fact that the trade card above makes reference to a game between New York vs. Cleveland at the Polo Grounds would indicate that that event took place in 1889 or later.  The fact that the trolley is horse drawn would indicate that the event must have been between 1889 and about 1900.
For more information on this particular card click here.

The Harlem & Manhattanville trolley started service in 1885 traversing the route from downtown New York City up along the Harlem River to 125th St. and then via 10th Ave. to the Polo Grounds and finally ending up at Fort George.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

High Bridge Recognized by the NY Landmarks Conservancy 2016 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards

On April 28, 2016 the High Bridge will be recognized as a winner of the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards by the New York Landmarks Conservancy.  The award is one of NY Landmarks Conservancy's most prestigious honors.
The High Bridge, first completed in 1848, served as an aqueduct bridge bringing the first reliable and fresh water from Croton Reservoir in upper Westchester to New York City.  Construction on the bridge was started in 1839 and it is the oldest standing bridge in New York City.  The High Bridge has undergone major modifications during its 168 year history  -- most notably the addition of additional water tubes in the 1860s, the replacement of the pillars located in the Harlem River with a steel span in 1927, and the restoration completed in 2015.   The bridge connects the two boroughs of the Bronx in the Highbridge section to the Washington Heights section of Manhattan.
The 2015  bridge restoration now allows pedestrians and bicyclists to cross the 1,450 foot span thanks to the preservation efforts of the city.
The bridge officially re-opened to the public in early June of last year, but will be recognized as a preservation achievement at the upcoming ceremony in April.
The New York Landmarks Conservancy received nominations from restoration projects across the city that have made great gains over the past year.  To determine which projects merit awards, the conservancy looks at the preservation work specifically and what the projects bring to communities.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Appalachian Mountain Club Leads Hike Around High Bridge, 10:30AM April 9


Event Details

OrganizerCynthia Tollo Falls



PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU RSVP. I TAKE THE RSVP PROCESS VERY SERIOUSLY AND I EXPECT THAT YOU SHOULD TOO. Join me and AMC dues paying Club members who do not have to RSVP on a fun fast paced hiking tour of around 8-9 miles. 
MEETING DETAILS WILL BE SENT BY E-MAIL TO THOSE WHO RSVP THURSDAY NIGHT APRIL 7. We already did Part II in October 2015. (I count backwards!) In Part II we visited the High Bridge and then headed North. This time, Part I, we are going to visit the High Bridge from the South.
Closed for some 40 years, the High Bridge recently opened up. It spans the Harlem River and connects Manhattan to the Bronx and was once used to bring water from the Croton Aqueduct to New York City. (The Manhattan Boro President said This is almost the eighth wonder of the world and that is one great exaggeration but it is pretty cool to walk over it.) Before we visit the High Bridge we'll tour Riverside Park, we'll then see the the amazing Viaduct and we'll stop very briefly for lunch at Riverbank State Park. There will be some spectacular views of the Hudson River along the way. We will move at a fast pace but we'll stop for a very short while a number of times to talk about what we see. Much of the hike will be along the waterfront. AFTER LUNCH WE ARE ALSO GOING TO TAKE A SHORT BREAK TO VISIT A UNIQUE ART EXHIBITION. In addition, right before we get to the High Bridge, we'll visit what was once the little village of Carmansville located in the West 150s and then we'll walk back and forth over the High Bridge. WE WILL THEN CLIMB UP ONE HUGE FLIGHT OF STAIRS-trust me this is the best way to do this for a number of reasons-and then we'll finish up at a subway station. THERE IS GOING TO BE A LOT OF SURPRISES ON THIS ONE.
BRING LUNCH. NO FOOD STOPS TO BUY LUNCH. PLAN ON FINISHING BEFORE DINNER. (That means I'm not sure when we will finish-maybe around 5 or so?!)
We will meet BEFORE 10:30 A.M. to sign in. WE LEAVE PROMPTLY.
Meeting place will be close to a subway.
I bet you stopped reading by now-if not earlier! KEEP GOING-EXERT YOURSELF A LITTLE BIT.
Please consider joining the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) The Club offers many hikes, walks and events and is also active in conservation efforts and trail maintenance. Only a few of the many hikes and walks that are offered by AMC leaders are posted on Meetup. 
Since this event will be posted as a last minute hike to AMC Club members, there is NO need for AMC club members to RSVP for this-unless you don't get last minute e-mails from Yahoo. (Contact me a few days before the hike if you are a dues paying AMC Club member and don't get these e-mails and I'll tell you how). Let's leave 10 spaces for AMC Meetup members.
 Needless to say, please take the RSVP process seriously and be considerate. If you have been a NO SHOW on any previous AMC Meetup event that I have led or are an abuser of the RSVP process see your Attendance History- please do not sign up for this event because I am just going to delete your RSVP. Let someone else go who will actually show up. PRIORITY WILL BE GIVEN TO THOSE WHO HAVE PREVIOUSLY ATTENDED OTHER AMC MEETUP EVENTS THAT I HAVE LED. 
I am going to ask that people not post any comments or questions prior to the event. You have more than enough information to do this once you get the meeting details. No offense, but I don't need to know-and probably neither does anyone else- what you are doing that day if you can't make it or what you think the weather will be. AFTER the event, post as many comments and photos as you like.
If the weather forecast is really bad, See the Accuweather website like I do, I will post a notice on the day of the hike by 8:00 A.M. If there is no notice, we go. We will finish at the A subway station at 175th Street.

Monday, March 14, 2016

360 Degree View of The High Bridge

This is a rather unique view of the High Bridge taken with a 360 Degree Wrap Around camera.
We see that there isn't too much traffic on the bridge these days.  Now that the bridge is open, tell us about your experiences across it.  We also hear that the lights are not working either. What has been your experience?

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Did Someone Lose a Horse's Head in Highbridge Park on Sunday Morning?

It was reported in a number of media sources today that a woman was walking inside Highbridge Park near 190th St. this morning when she saw a sealed cardboard container of Corona Beer.  She decided to open the box, and she unexpectedly found a horse's head.  The horse's head was cooked along with another animal's head inside the box.  The police are investigating the incident.
Maybe it was left over from the movie production of "The Godfather".