The Barclays Center has made many headlines recently, as it’s served as a hub for the city’s Black Lives Matter protests. And some locals hope to keep this momentum going and are pushing for the arena to be renamed for Brooklyn Dodgers player Jackie Robinson, the first African American Major League Baseball player. Arthur Piccolo of Park Slope actually began the effort back in 2006, but recently revived it, telling the Brooklyn Paper, “You’re seeing certain individuals being criticized and their statutes rightly removed, and here’s the opportunity to do something symbolic.”
Jackie Robinson at bat, 1949, photo by Frank Bauman, courtesy of MCNY, LOOK Collection
On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson strode onto Ebbets Field, and into history, as the first African American Major League Baseball player. During his stellar 10-year career with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Robinson was the first player ever named Rookie of the Year. He became National League MVP 1949 and was named an All-Star every year from 1949-1954. After retiring from Baseball, Jackie Robinson remained a trailblazer. He became the first African American officer of a national corporation, as well as a Civil Rights leader, corresponding with politicians including Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, urging each to support true equality for all Americans.
January 31, 2019, would have been Jackie Robinson’s 100th birthday. To mark the centennial, the Museum of the City of New York and the Jackie Robinson Foundation have collaborated on a new photography exhibit “In the Dugout With Jackie Robinson: An Intimate Portrait of a Baseball Legend.” The exhibit features unpublished photos of Robinson, originally shot for Look Magazine, and memorabilia related to Robinson’s career. The exhibit will open at MCNY on the 31st to kick off the Foundation’s yearlong Jackie Robinson Centennial Celebration, which culminates in the opening of the Jackie Robinson Museum in Lower Manhattan in December 2019. As part of the celebration, 6sqft is exploring the history of 10 spots around town where you can walk in the footsteps of an American hero.
Besides being a newly-hot neighborhood, Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant holds one of the city’s finest collections of historic brownstones. Though many beautiful homes didn’t survive the neglect of the late 20th century, many that did have been remarkably preserved or painstakingly restored to their original splendor. One of the highest concentrations of those impressive townhouses can be found in the Stuyvesant Heights Historic District in the south-central part of the neighborhood.
It’s here that you’ll find this landmarked four-story home at 407 Stuyvesant Avenue, just arrived on the market for $2.875 million. According to the listing, baseball icon and civil rights pioneer Jackie Robinson lived here, and the brokers tell 6sqft that this was his first residence in Brooklyn. They add that when the current owners moved in, they found a treasure trove of memorabilia. So let’s just say this 20-foot-wide Romanesque Revival-style brownstone hits it out of the park when it comes to intact historic detail and unspoiled 19th century architecture.