A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 20, 2005
Heisman Trophy
The Downtown Athletic Club (18 West Street) is probably best known for awarding the Heisman Trophy to the nation's best college football player. In 2001, however, the financially strapped DAC closed the building; the Heisman Trophy is now awarded elsewhere.

The first trophy was awarded in 1935, but it was called the Heisman Memorial Trophy in 1936 after the death of John W. Heisman, a Downtown Athletic Club director.

http://www.ci.nyc.ny.us/html/lpc/html/designation/summaries/downtown_athletic.html
DOWNTOWN ATHLETIC CLUB BUILDING, 19 West Street (aka 18-20 West Street and 28-32 Washington Street), Manhattan. Built 1929-30; Starrett & Van Vleck, architects.

Landmarks Preservation Commission. Designated November 14, 2000; LP-2075

Summary

This 38-story, Art Deco skyscraper opened in 1930 as the Downtown Athletic Club. A membership association geared toward businessmen and lawyers who worked in lower Manhattan, the Downtown Athletic Club was founded in 1926. By 1927 it had purchased this site next to the Hudson River to construct its own building. The high cost of land necessitated a tall building, and the relatively small lot size dictated that the different functions and facilities of the club, including swimming pool, gymnasium, miniature golf course, squash, and tennis courts, as well as dining rooms and living quarters, be accommodated on separate floors. The Downtown Athletic Club became most famous as the home of the Heisman Trophy, given every year to the most outstanding college football player, and named after John Heisman, the club's first athletic director.

http://www.nyc-architecture.com/LM/LM063.htm
Plagued by financial troubles since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks leveled the nearby World Trade Center, the Downtown Athletic Club turned over its mortgage last week to this New York landmark, alleviating itself of escalating debt but leaving the Heisman all but homeless.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/sports/html/heisman_archive.html
The Heisman Trophy is awarded annually to the "Outstanding College Football Player of the United States." As one of the most recognized trophies in the world of sport, with its unique pose and bronze finish, the Heisman has come to represent excellence and achievement on the football field. First awarded in 1935 to Jay Berwanger of Chicago University, 65 other players have been honored as the best. Notables have included Paul Hornung (1956 Notre Dame), Roger Staubach (1963 Navy), 2-time winner Archie Griffith (1974/75 Ohio State) and most recently Carson Palmer (2002 Southern California).

5 December 1935, New York Times, pg. 33:
BERWANGER GAINS TROPHY.
Downtown A. C.'s Football Award
Voted to Chicago's Star Back.

The Downtown Athletic Club's trophy for "the most valuable football player in the East" will go to Jay Berwanger, captain and right halfback of the University of Chicago football team, it was announced yesterday.

2 December 1936, New York Times, pg. 36:
HEISMAN TROPHY
AWARDED KELLY
(...)
The Heisman Trophy is named in honor of the late John Heisman of Brown, who was a football coach for thirty-six years at many of the leading colleges. Following coaching careers at Penn and Georgia Tech, Heisman was director of athetlics at the Downtown A. C. for six years.

(Trademark)
Word Mark THE HEISMAN MEMORIAL TROPHY AND DESIGN
Goods and Services IC 041. US 107. G & S: PROMOTING INTEREST, EXCELLENCE AND SPORTSMANSHIP IN INTERCOLLEGIATE FOOTBALL THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF AN ANNUAL AWARD. FIRST USE: 19361216. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19361216
Mark Drawing Code (3) DESIGN PLUS WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS
Design Search Code 020119 020905 020919 220503 240710
Serial Number 72354602
Filing Date March 19, 1970
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Registration Number 0936852
Registration Date June 27, 1972
Owner (REGISTRANT) DOWNTOWN ATHLETIC CLUB OF NEW YORK CITY, INC. CORPORATION NEW YORK 19 WEST STREET NEW YORK NEW YORK 10004
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Attorney of Record MICHAEL J. COMERFORD
Description of Mark THE MARK COMPRISES THE CONFORMATION OF A STATUETTE ON A BASE.
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR). SECTION 8(10-YR) 20020802.
Renewal 2ND RENEWAL 20020802
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
Sports/Games • (0) Comments • Wednesday, April 20, 2005 • Permalink