Landmark & Restore The Forest Hills Tennis Stadium & Clubhouse sign now

The Forest Hills Tennis Stadium & Clubhouse of the West Side Tennis Club (1 Tennis Place, Forest Hills, NY) has architectural, cultural, and historical significance, and it is of the utmost to designate this complex, inclusive of grounds and interiors, as an official Landmark on city, state, & federal levels. In addition to preserving and commemorating an iconic site for future generations, landmarking will open the door to funding (i.e. grants and tax credits) for a restoration and historically-sensitive upgrades. Mixed-use creative revitalization of the Stadium would hold great potential for the economic benefit of the West Side Tennis Club and greater community, and a 21st century cultural destination would enhance our quality of life.

HISTORY

The Forest Hills Tennis Stadium is an American and International icon, situated in the earliest planned garden community countrywide, the Forest Hills Gardens. The Stadium embodies firsts in tennis, music, architectural, and social history, and was referred to as the "World Capital of Tennis." Designed by award-winning public building architect Kenneth M. Murchison, and built by The Foundation Co. in 1923, it was the first concrete tennis stadium in the U.S. The Stadium features eagles, terra-cotta shields bearing the West Side Tennis Club logo, archways, simplified cornice detail, flagpoles, authentic grandstands seating 14,000, etc. The Stadium was the 1st home of the US Open (through 1978), & was also home to singles championships, the Davis Cup, Wightman Cup, etc. It hosted tennis greats such as Bill Tilden, Helen Jacobs, Billie Jean King, Roger Federer, and Arthur Ashe & Althea Gibson who broke the racial color barrier. The Stadium also played cinematic roles, as it featured key scenes of Alfred Hitchcock's "Strangers On A Train." The annual Forest Hills Music Festival and concerts took ground in the late 1950s - late 1990s, featuring the likes of The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Ross, The Monkees, The Who, Johnny Mathis, Barbra Streisand, Simon & Garfunkel, Trini Lopez, Peter, Paul, & Mary, etc. The Stadium & Clubhouse and its history has long-influenced our cultural possessions and media, including records & CDs, films, maps, the Forest Hills tennis racquet, clothing, postcards, (news) photos, videos, news, matchcovers, ads, etc. The Tudor-style Clubhouse dates to 1913, and was designed by famed architect Grosvenor Atterbury & John Almay Tompkins. The West Side Tennis Club was established in 1892, & first operated courts on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The West Side Tennis Club helped establish the sport of tennis in the US. Forest Hills is known for tennis, and tennis helped place Forest Hills on the map. In MIT's Nov. 1922 "The Technology Review," an ad referred to the stadium as "America's Tennis Stadium," and history has proven how it was built for the greater public.

STATUS

On May 3, 2011, local to international landmark supporters of the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium received a letter from the Landmarks Preservation Commission stating that "after a careful review of the current condition and architectural integrity of the above-referenced property, a senior staff committee of the Landmarks Preservation Commission found that the building does have some historic significance related to cultural and historic events that have taken place at the site, and does retain intact architectural features. At this time, however, the property will not be recommended to the full Commission for further consideration as an individual New York City landmark. The reason not to recommend further consideration is due to the deteriorated state of the buildings architectural features."

Rego-Forest Preservation Council feels that for the Landmarks Preservation Commission to not calendar a public hearing for the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, is a neglect of public duty and of the architectural & cultural provisions of the Landmarks Law. We believe the Landmarks Law does NOT reference a site's condition as a means for rejecting a public hearing. Despite, there have been buildings in other boroughs needing major repairs and in worse condition, which have been calendared, heard, and landmarked, and have been restored or are now undergoing restoration. Some case studies are The Windermere, West Park Presbyterian Church, & Coignet Stone Co. This represents a double standard.

On behalf of Rego-Forest Preservation Council, Chairman Michael Perlman launched a grassroots campaign on July 23, 2010 by submitting a Request For Evaluation form with 50 pages of primary sources to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, recommending the Stadium, Clubhouse, grounds, & interiors for NYC Landmark status. Perlman also met with local politicians. A landmark letter campaign and offline petition drive to the LPC & elected officials was launched, & was greatly supported by local to international residents & organizations. On October 7, 2010, Cord Meyer Development's proposal to build condos and demolish the majority of the stadium was rejected by West Side Tennis Club members, after not receiving a 2/3 vote to approve a sale.

Mixed-use creative revitalization of the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium (as opposed to condos) would most likely yield a greater economic return in the long-run, and could feature tennis matches, concerts, weddings, graduations, exhibits, school trips, charity events, music and art festivals, etc. The Stadium has the potential to be a 21st-century family destination, bring Queens & citywide communities closer together, boost tourism, convey historic pride, educate our children, help local businesses through tough economic times, and be an incentive for newer businesses i.e. on the Austin St corridor. Without landmarking, restoration, and creative reuse, it could be demolished, and would be a preservation travesty along the lines of Pennsylvania Station's historic loss.

FLICKR PHOTOS: http://bit.ly/ForestHillsTennisStadium
BLOG: http://regoforestpreservation.blogspot.com
FACEBOOK GROUP, "S.O.S. (Save Our Stadium!)" http://on.fb.me/SaveOurStadium

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Goal reached !
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Latest Signatures

  • 22 November 2015150. Nancy N
    (please post) Please save the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium Address 6787 Booth St Organization affiliation (if applicable) None
  • 16 November 2015149. Ray S
    (please post) Please preserve the integrity of the neighborhood by keeping the tennis stadium Address 13912 Coolidge Ave Organization affiliation (if applicable) none
  • 15 November 2015148. Leslie R
    (please post) hope that this is the firs step in making sure lots of folks have tons of memories there, like me. Address 294 country club drive, plant city, fl 33565 Organization affiliation (if applicable) starfleet
  • 13 November 2015147. Than H
    (please post) Please preserve this historic landmark. It makes Forest Hills Forest Hills! Address 6804 Burns St Apt F1 Organization affiliation (if applicable) Resident.
  • 22 October 2015146. Alice D
    (please post) I have attended several memorable music events at the stadium and belive it should be preserved as an historical landmark and if possible renovated so I could attend more such events, Address 71-50 Austin St. , Forest Hills, NY 11375 Organiz
  • 12 October 2015145. Joe R
    (please post) Forest Hills Tennis should be an historic sight Address Katonah, NY Organization affiliation (if applicable) USPTA
  • 29 September 2015144. Edward L
    (please post) None Address 67-76 Booth St Apt 6K Organization affiliation (if applicable) None
  • 28 September 2015143. Steven H
    (please post) This would be an absolute travesty to demolish such an historical site. Address 18 Leslie lane, New Hyde Park, NY Organization affiliation (if applicable) NON
  • 23 September 2015142. Elizabeth Z
    (please post) Law Day, 1969! Seriously, that's the only time I was ever in the place, although we drove by it all the time on my mother's way home from work. Address 1337 Corner Oaks Drive Brandon, Florida 33510 Organization affiliation (if applicable) Re
  • 11 September 2015141. Richard Cp
    (please post) We must preserve some of what our society great. Address 67-71 Yellowstone Blvd. Forest Hills, NY 11375 Organization affiliation (if applicable) N/A
  • 06 September 2015140. Bernard G
    (please post) Please save the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium Address 6509 99 Street Organization affiliation (if applicable) None
  • 06 September 2015139. Linda Ml
    (please post) This landmark should be preserved Address 2181 E Circulo Solaz, Tucson AZ Organization affiliation (if applicable) NA
  • 27 August 2015138. Jane P
    (please post) Please save the stadium Address 6837 Yellowstone Boulevard Organization affiliation (if applicable) None
  • 25 August 2015137. Liz Shepard
    (please post) Save the tennis stadium Address 77 W. 66th St Organization affiliation (if applicable) Match Point Travel
  • 16 August 2015136. Jerry B
    (please post) SOS Address 94-11 69 th ave Organization affiliation (if applicable) None
  • 31 July 2015135. Diana W
    (please post) ... Address ... Organization affiliation (if applicable) ...
  • 12 July 2015134. Lynne Dewardenerb
    (please post) Don't demolish history. Address 8 14th Street Bayville, NY 11709 Organization affiliation (if applicable) no organization. private
  • 04 July 2015133. Mickie T
    (please post) ** Address 110-20 71 Rd, Forest Hills, NY 11375 Organization affiliation (if applicable) None
  • 26 June 2015132. Brooke S
    (please post) Please don't let greed take over and destroy a piece of the nation's, city's and neighborhood's history. Address Forest Hills, NY Organization affiliation (if applicable) n/a
  • 08 June 2015131. Mary L
    (please post) The Forest Hills Tennis Stadium is a landmark, recognized worldwide, and should be preserved as such. Would anyone consider tearing down the Colosseum in Rome? Address Forest Hills, NY Organization affiliation (if applicable) none
  • 04 June 2015130. Barry L
    (please post) Future re-use needs to address neighborhood concerns over noise and traffic. We lost the Aquacade; now we shouldn't lose this. Address 83-52 Talbot Street, Apt #1F, Kew Gardens, NY 11415 Organization affiliation (if applicable) Independant
  • 25 May 2015129. Mary Pd
    (please post) Help preserve this landmark Address 14 Park End Place Organization affiliation (if applicable) not applicable
  • 15 May 2015128. Mary Janes
    (please post) Best wishes! Address Mays Landing NJ Organization affiliation (if applicable) Education
  • 10 May 2015127. John Ms
    (please post) Please save this historic venue. Replacing it with with condos will irreversibly alter the character of this unique neighborhood and destroy a valuable part of New York's history forever. Remember Penn Station! Address Long Beach, New York O
  • 07 May 2015126. Angelina C
    (please post) It would be so sad to see the stadium gone, it's such a big part of this neighborhood's history.....please preserve it!!!!! Address Forest Hills Organization affiliation (if applicable) none
  • 18 April 2015125. Kevin W
    (please post) The Forest Hills Tennis Stadium and Clubhouse is one of the icons and cover of the community of Forest Hills and Queens and New York City and Beyond for so many years. This stadium and clubhouse has the potential for renewing and reusing for
  • 09 April 2015124. Beth M
    (please post) the forest hills stadium MUST be restored! we do NOT need any more condos or stores in Forest Hills. It is our obligation to landmark this structure! Address 65-36 99th st rego park ny Organization affiliation (if applicable) none

browse all the signatures

Information

Meredith BurtonBy:
SustainabilityIn:
Petition target:
NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, NY State Historic Preservation Office, Councilmember, Congressmember, Mayor, State Senator, Assemblymember, Queens Borough President, Public Advocate (elected official at time of petition serving Forest Hills, NY)

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