Coogan's Bluff

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Polo Grounds Towers from Coogan's Bluff
For the Clint Eastwood movie, see Coogan's Bluff (film).

Coogan's Bluff is the name of a promontory rising abruptly from the Harlem River in upper Manhattan in New York City, USA. Starting at 155th Street, it is regarded as the boundary between the neighborhoods of Harlem and Washington Heights.

The rise is named for James J. Coogan (1845-1915), a real estate owner and one-term Manhattan Borough President. Known as "Coogan's Bluff" as early as 1893,[1][2] the property passed on to his wife upon his death.

Fans watch a game at the Polo Grounds from Coogan's Bluff, 1908

The bluff overlooks the Polo Grounds Towers housing complex, situated on the former site of the Polo Grounds, home of Major League Baseball's New York Giants prior to the franchise moving to San Francisco at the end of the 1957 season. Sportwriters took to using "Coogan's Bluff" as a shorthand for the Polo Grounds the way today's use "Chavez Ravine" to refer to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and "China Basin" for AT&T Park in San Francisco. However, the Polo Grounds actually sat in Coogan's Hollow, the bottomland beneath the bluff. The John T. Brush Stairway from the Bluff to today's housing complex is one of the few remaining relics of the former ballfield.[3][4]

The Morris-Jumel Mansion, the oldest house in Manhattan still standing (built in 1765 and now a museum) is located nearby, and immediately to the west is Sugar Hill, immortalized by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn in their 1941 classic song "Take the 'A' Train".


  1. ^ Pollak, Michael (April 25, 2004). "F.Y.I.". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  2. ^ "The Orange Above the Blue". The New York Times. December 1, 1893. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  3. ^ "Miller's Homer Beats Phillies". The New York Times. July 9, 1913. p. 8. Retrieved 2009-10-23. 
  4. ^ Williams, Timothy (February 19, 2008). "A Stairway to Sports History From the Polo Grounds". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-23. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°49′57″N 73°56′21″W / 40.8326°N 73.9393°W / 40.8326; -73.9393