Ballplayers House

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Ballplayers House, built in 1990

Ballplayers House is a small building in Central Park in Manhattan, New York City, designed by the architecture firm Buttrick White & Burtis. Completed in 1990, it replaced an older building, architect Calvert Vaux's Boys Play House of 1868, which stood on the northern edge of the Heckscher Ballfields until it was demolished in 1969. Vaux's building was a fifty-two foot long clubhouse and dispensary for bats and balls,[1] whereas Buttrick White & Burtis' building is a food concession half the size of the original.


The Ballplayers House recalls Vaux's design, albeit much altered in form and detail. In contrast to the brick and bluestone facade of Vaux's building, with its pointed arches and polychrome voussoirs, the facade of Ballplayers House is composed with graphic stripes of highly contrasting brick. In lieu of Vaux's bracketed eaves, pointed pinnacles and chamfered chimney, the new building boasts a simple roofline, topped with a sleek, factory-made cresting.

Ballplayers House, detail of tile frieze

The Ballplayers House is decorated with a tile frieze with a simple flower motif symbolizing a ball-field, and a zig-zag pattern symbolizing a bouncing ball. Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, head of the Central Park Conservancy when the Ballplayers House was built, described its design as "a contemporary interpretation of Vaux's style."[2]



  1. ^ Eleventh Annual Report of the Board of Commissioners of the Central Park, 1868, page 26.
  2. ^ Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, "Robert Moses and the Transformation of Central Park." Site/Lines, A Journal of Place (Fall 2007), Volume III, No. 1.

Coordinates: 40°46′13.08″N 73°58′33.3″W / 40.7703000°N 73.975917°W / 40.7703000; -73.975917