7. Remnants of a Historic Baseball stadium

Tip Tops Stadium wall in Gowanus

Located on 3rd Avenue in Gowanus, the Washington Park Wall is an unassuming white and gray structure that stands in a more industrial part of the neighborhood. The provenance of this wall and its connection to the Brooklyn Dodgers has long been debated. The Brooklyn Dodgers did play here at this site, at a stadium called Washington Park, between 3rd and 5th Streets and 4th and 5th Avenues. From 1883 to 1913, Brooklyn’s baseball club, which would become the Dodgers (at first named the Atlantics and then the Bridegrooms) played here at two different stadiums. The first was likely made of all wood and there are no remnants.

The team ultimately relocated to Brownsville, which was hard to get to for many fans. To mitigate this, a second Washington Park was constructed across the street from the first, seating nearly 19,000 people. The Brooklyn franchise, then known as the Superbas and then the Dodgers, moved into the ballpark in 1898, playing there for 15 seasons. The name Dodgers was derived from the Trolley Dodgers, inspired by the streetcars that operated by the ballpark. Baseball enthusiasts complained of the scents from the canal and factories nearby, though this did not deter people from attending games while Charlie Ebbets worked to develop a large stadium in Flatbush. After the Dodgers left, a new team called the Brooklyn Tip-Tops moved in, rebuilding the stadium in concrete and steel. A portion of the left-center field wall of the Tip-Top stadium, built in 1914, remains in Gowanus. Some believe that this wall may be a remnant of the 2nd Dodger’s stadium.