There will be no last-minute federal bailout of Yankee Stadium. The National Register of Historic Places has declined, more than once, to consider the big ballpark in the Bronx for landmark status - an honorific, it turns out, that would not have guaranteed protection from demolition.
And the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, which could have stopped this year's scheduled tear-down of the 85-year-old walls, repeatedly has rejected landmark designation because of the Stadium's 1974-75 "unsympathetic renovation."
Yankee Stadium not a landmark to U.S. government
All those who are now offering testimonials extolling the Stadium as a cultural marker, a place of mythology and folklore passed from generation to generation and reflecting America's soul, will just have to accept that, of more than 80,000 National Register listings and more than 2,400 National Historic Landmarks, Yankee Stadium did not make the cut.
Strict brick-and-mortar arguments that the 1970s modifications completely replaced the "House That Ruth Built" in 1923, ignore the hallowed-ground considerations, that the playing field remains the place where sports giants have trod for more than three-quarters of a century. (Ruth and Gehrig, DiMaggio and Mantle, Giants-Colts overtime, Lewis-Schmeling, Knute Rockne, and on and on.)
According to Alexis Abernathy of the National Register of Historic Places, criteria for NHL honors include "significant contribution to the broad patterns of history, associations with significant persons, distinctive architectural engineering or informational potential - mainly archaeological."
To architect Aaron Parker, formerly based in New York and now in Minneapolis, said: "If baseball is our national sport and is a true reflection of our national character, then Yankee Stadium could easily be landmarked under [the first two criteria]. Indeed, if Yankee Stadium does not rise to that standard, no other structure in the nation qualifies."
So bring the bulldozers to The House That Greed Destroyed and let's move over to The House that Taxpayers Built.