Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Forest Hills Tennis Stadium Advocates Speak: Mayor Bloomberg To Call USTA & Landmarks Preservation Commission

Mayor Bloomberg & his panel trek to Forest Hills
 It isn't often that Mayor Bloomberg comes to town! On August 31, 2010, a town hall meeting, sponsored by the Forest Hills Civic Association was held at Our Lady of Mercy Church's auditorium (70-01 Kessel St, Forest Hills, NY). Mayor Bloomberg was the guest speaker, and took a wide range of questions from the audience, comprised of nearly 150 people. The Mayor brought his City Hall panel with him.

Around 30 confirmed preservation supporters of the iconic Forest Hills Tennis Stadium were in attendance amongst others, and some were given a chance to share their views. Chairman Michael Perlman of Rego-Forest Preservation Council handed Mayor Bloomberg's assistant a letter, comprised of the consensus of members of Rego-Forest Preservation Council, which also reflected the support of individuals and organizations from a local to a national level. The letter explained the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium's imminently endangered status, architectural and cultural significance internationally in relation to tennis and music, and potential creative reuses including tennis, concerts (interest from the NY Philharmonic), weddings, exhibits, community events and fundraisers, school trips, etc. Creative and historically-sensitive reuse would yield a greater economic return by creating jobs, increasing tourism, preserving history, and maintaining and enhancing property values of the Forest Hills Gardens and adjacent sections of Forest Hills. The letter requested the Mayor's long-term role in the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium's future, in regard to preservation and creative reuse. A representative of the Community Affairs Unit said someone will call Chair Michael Perlman tomorrow.

In response to preservationists' public statements, the Mayor said he will have Chairman Robert Tierney of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission give the speakers a phone call. Mayor Bloomberg would not say whether he supported its preservation and reuse, but promised he will start a dialogue with USTA President Lucy Garvin. As one may recall, it was Congressman Anthony Weiner's idea in early August to talk to the USTA, and encourage them to hold at least one U.S. Open match in Forest Hills annually, which would be one such beneficial method of reusing the 14,000-seat historic Stadium.

For more information on what transpired at the mayoral meeting regarding the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium and its history, refer to the comprehensive summary posted on The Forest Hills Gardens Blog:

http://foresthillsgardensblog.com/2010/09/01/bloomberg-vows-to-talk-to-usta-about-tennis-stadium/

Mixed-use iconic 21st century family destination in Forest Hills, or Cord Meyer's Anytown USA condos? Photo courtesy of Patrick Lannan
The Internationally-known 1923 Forest Hills Tennis Stadium by famed architect Kenneth Murchison merits landmark status & creative reuse. Not a Disney-esque facade with overdeveloped typical condos! Photo courtesy of Edge of The City: A Forest Hills, NY Blog

Bookmark-worthy blogs, which provide updates on the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium Preservation Campaign:


1. Rego-Forest Preservation Council:
http://regoforestpreservation.blogspot.com

2. The Forest Hills Gardens Blog:
http://foresthillsgardensblog.com/

3. Edge of The City: A Forest Hills, NY Blog: 
http://edgeofthecityblog.com/

4 comments:

  1. I'm sorry I couldn't make it last night. It will be a real shame if the stadium is destroyed.

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  2. This sounds promising - fingers crossed that the stadium is preserved and used to serve the community.

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  3. Former 30-year Forest Hills ResidentSeptember 4, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING: CONCERTS, MINI-TOURNAMENTS, ETC. TO PRESERVE THIS TENNIS RELIC!! IT IS THE CORNERSTONE OF THE BEST NEIGHBORHOOD IN QUEENS and DESERVES TO STAY!!

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  4. If I weren't a 6-hour drive away, I would certainly attend all meetings and do all I could to help preserve the stadium. In my 70s now, I have wonderful memories of attending US Opens in the 1940s, 50s and 60s with my dad.

    -a relative of Frank Hunter (he played U.S. doubles with Frank Parker) and Stephen Hunter Ogilvy, top ranked player in Connecticut and in age group Nationals

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