Home > Tennis Stadium > Forest Hills Tennis Club In Deal To Sell Famous Stadium – WSJ

Forest Hills Tennis Club In Deal To Sell Famous Stadium – WSJ

The article in The Wall St. Journal says local Forest Hills developer Cord Meyer will build residential units within the stadium, incorporating some of the elements of the structure into the design. However, this still depends on a vote by the West Side Tennis Club’s members on August 19th. The development plans will be presented to the membership at an informational meeting to be held on August 10th.

If this plan goes through, it will be a truly sad, sad day for Forest Hills, which will see its most famous landmark destroyed–and one with enormous potential through the hosting of tennis tournaments, concerts and cultural events–to bring all kinds of new business to our retailers and restaurants, many of whom are struggling in this horrific economy, and it will be a truly sad day for New York City, which will lose another of its most famous sites. When will these people ever learn? See my previous post for ways you can help Save the Stadium! I include the email addresses of several officials to contact.

  1. Jeff
    August 2, 2010 at 9:58 PM

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate here… Sure, it would be great if the stadium had concerts, or tennis events, or … anything. But that hasn’t happened in years. Where was the outrage about the Tennis Club just letting the stadium rot? No one seemed to care at all until they started talking about selling it. What’s better for the local economy — more housing or an empty, rotting stadium?

    I’m concerned about more congestion and what this might do to property values. And yes, it’s cool to have this historic stadium that hosted so many US Opens and amazing concerts. But I’m a little surprised that people are acting as if this will ruin the neighborhood. Am I missing something?

  2. August 3, 2010 at 12:31 AM

    REACTION TO WALL ST JOURNAL ARTICLE:

    Cord Meyer?? Just say NO!

    Just because it’s a developer that has developed many projects, and had roots in the neighborhood, does not mean the firm always knows what’s right for the neighborhood. We collected signatures, and the residents of Forest Hills, Rego Park, and other parts of the city (not to mention the nation) have spoken. We maintained an open ear, and the majority have shared their concerns. People composed letters to politicians and the Landmarks Preservation Commission as well. That is the Democratic way. Power to the people, and majority rules in a democratic society. If any part of a legendary piece of history is touched and demolished, it does not look wise on the part of Cord Meyer or the West Side Tennis Club’s board of directors.

    In fact, the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium lies within the boundaries of the Forest Hills Gardens, and the Forest Hills Gardens Corporation’s mission is to enforce the Restrictive Covenants, which keeps the Forest Hills Gardens full of character, harmony, and preserves and enhances property values. The Covenants prevent demolition of historic structures, and the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium is certainly a HISTORIC site with local, citywide, national, and international prestige; not to mention that it was designed by one of the most prominent 20th century architects, Kenneth M. Murchison. He commissioned many landmarked public buildings and won awards, and this stadium was America’s first tennis stadium. It was also the first to be composed of concrete and other revolutionary architectural features.

    From an economic perspective, it would make sense retaining the historic Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, and restoring a “Landmark” in every sense of the word. It is one of Queens’ most deserving landmarks. All it needs is a combination of city & state landmarking, which will open up the door to funding. Our organization would also hold a series of fundraisers. The Forest Hills Tennis Stadium could be reused for smaller concerts and tennis matches, as well as other community events, such as fundraisers. It would usher in jobs too, and help Forest Hills and neighboring vicinities out of a harsh economic climate.

    Return the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium to a destination in which the GREATER AMERICAN PUBLIC can enjoy (as initially conceived), and NOT some West Side Tennis Club board of directors wanting to cash out on local, national, and international historic pride. At least sell to an arts or sports group, who will value what was referred to as “America’s Tennis Stadium” in the 1922 MIT’s Technology Review (Vol. 25).

    “We The People” do not want senior housing or residences, which can rise anyplace else, such as on a vacant car lot. The West Side Tennis Club, Cord Meyer Development, politicians, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission should acknowledge the full picture, which entails the sentiment of the majority of citizens, and prominently enhance their reputation!

    E-mail unlockthevault@hotmail.com to help with our ongoing petition drive and Landmarking letter campaign.

  3. August 4, 2010 at 8:26 AM

    Jeff –

    “I’m going to play devil’s advocate here… Sure, it would be great if the stadium had concerts, or tennis events, or … anything. But that hasn’t happened in years. Where was the outrage about the Tennis Club just letting the stadium rot? No one seemed to care at all until they started talking about selling it. What’s better for the local economy — more housing or an empty, rotting stadium?”

    I believe, though I do not qualify as an historical expert on the subject, that residents and businesses in Forest Hills have been waiting for many years for the Club to decide what they were going to do with the stadium. No one expected it to sit there for this long and rot from little or no use. Anyone reading this, if I am wrong about this, please correct me below.

    “I’m concerned about more congestion and what this might do to property values. And yes, it’s cool to have this historic stadium that hosted so many US Opens and amazing concerts. But I’m a little surprised that people are acting as if this will ruin the neighborhood. Am I missing something?”

    They already had the tournaments and the concerts there and Forest Hills thrived. Take a walk down Austin St. today though and count how many storefronts are empty, and who knows how the businesses that are open are doing in this economy. Most likely they could use a boost in pedestrian traffic. Also, since this is the City many people would come by public transportation I would imagine. Anyway, there’s my two cents, for what it’s worth.

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