NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The “Iron Horse” of the New York Yankees became a legend on the field and in the public’s imagination for the graceful way he dealt with a debilitating disease.
Lou Gehrig died in 1941 from ALS. Now, one of the homes he lived in is up for sale.
At 9 Meadow Lane in the Residence Park section of New Rochelle, sits a century-old house that once belonged to the pride of the New York Yankees. The section of road out front has been renamed Lou Gehrig Way in his memory.
Neighbors tell CBS2’s Lou Young they’re waiting for something good to come of it.
“I want this house to be beautiful again, the way it was years ago,” one woman said.
Gehrig worked on and lived in the home for six years at the height of his fame. The Yankees slugger and first baseman bought the place for his parents and stayed with them until his marriage in 1933.
Real estate agent Arthur Scinta says interior details like the old clothes washing sinks in the basement are especially evocative.
“You can imagine Mrs. Gehrig down here scrubbing his uniforms, scrubbing the grass stains out,” he said.
Historians agree, the house retains much of its original detail.
“It is as it was when Lou Gehrig used to stretch out on the front porch to take his nap. It’s the same as when Ma Gehrig used to cook up fried chicken and pickled eels for Babe Ruth and the other Yankees. I mean gosh, it’s the same!” said New Rochelle historian Barbara Davis.
Three months after he bought the place in 1928, Gehrig spoke with a reporter from the New York Sun on the front lawn.
“Not a bad joint is it?” he said at the time. “Three floors and a basement. Eight or nine rooms, and I never saw a place with so many doors. Gaze on the garage. It’s a form-fitting place, but big enough for my old bus. Come here and look at the front porch. I’m going to have it screened in. Upstairs in the back, I’m having a sleeping porch built for myself. Can’t get too much fresh air.”
The house sold at auction recently for just over $300,000 and is on the market again, so it’s a bargain by Westchester standards, even if it needs hundreds of thousands of dollars in renovations. Potential tax credits for preserving history could sweeten the pot even more.
“I think actually it makes economic sense irrespective of Gehrig, but you add Gehrig to the equation and it becomes a home run,” Scinta said with a laugh.
Despite its history, attempts to give the house landmark status failed years ago when the owner at the time resisted.