Friday, September 17, 2010

Landmark Support Letter from Peter Pennoyer Architects & Forest Hills Tennis Stadium's Placement In Literature

Below is one of numerous letters sent to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, calling on the LPC to calendar a public hearing ASAP for the iconic yet endangered Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, and for the Clubhouse of the West Side Tennis Club. It was built to serve the greater public, and that is who should have a role in its future. The more support letters, the greater the likelihood that the LPC will calendar a most democratic public hearing for a tennis, architectural, and music "landmark at heart." Please assist us in our Landmark letter campaign by composing a letter, which can be brief:  

Please have a look at a letter by Peter Pennoyer Architects, where Peter Pennoyer & Anne Walker are co-authors of a must-have new book, The Architecture of Grosvenor Atterbury:
September 9, 2010

Chairman Robert Tierney
Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street
New York, NY 10007

Re: West Side Tennis Club and Stadium

Dear Chairman Tierney:

As co-authors of The Architecture of Grosvenor Atterbury, we are writing to request that the West Side Tennis Club and Stadium be placed on the calendar for September 14.

In addition to its important place in tennis history, the West Side Tennis Club was also integral to the development of Atterbury and Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.’s seminal design for the planned community of Forest Hills Gardens. In 1913, the development committee of the Russell Sage Foundation offered to negotiate its land purchase with the Cord Meyer Company and to provide its services free as added incentives for the club to move to Queens from the Upper West Side. The members were eager for their club to assume a prominent position in American tennis—as it did—and commissioned Grosvenor Atterbury and his partner (and Forest Hills Gardens resident) John Almy Tompkins to design “one of the finest [clubhouses] in the country” while Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. consulted on the layout of the club’s grounds and positioning of courts.

In addition to its prestige, for the Russell Sage Foundation and its designers, the most important aspect of the club’s relocation was the fact that it provided a buffer to any encroaching development from the west, enabling Forest Hills Gardens to exist as its own distinct architectural entity. The design of the clubhouse, its grounds and the later addition the Tennis Stadium (1923), designed by Kenneth M. Murchison, a Beaux-Arts-trained architect who designed railroad stations, apartment buildings and townhouses, was carefully considered to reinforce and maintain the character and integrity of the community and to prevent uncontextual development from detracting from the special place that Atterbury and Olmsted so meticulously created. As one of the first planned communities in this country, the Forest Hills Gardens model has been greatly influential, inspiring many similar communities in its wake.

We feel that it is important to uphold Atterbury and Olmsted’s design and write in hopes that the West Side Tennis Club and Stadium will be considered for calendaring in an effort to maintain what the designers of Forest Hills Gardens intended: to create an architecturally significant boundary to provide a sense of enclosure and community for Forest Hills Gardens.

Peter Pennoyer and Anne Walker
Peter Pennoyer Architects

Below is a few of many books that the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium has been featured in, not to mention various media including records, magazines, ads, postcards, matchcovers, etc.
The Architecture of Grosvenor Atterbury by Peter Pennoyer & Anne Walker (2010), featuring Atterbury's Clubhouse & the famed Kenneth Murchison's Forest Hills Tennis Stadium.

An Illustrated History: Forest Hills by Robert Minton (1975): Note how the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium is the symbol of Forest Hills!

The Anatomy Of A Tennis Tournament, Carnival At Forest Hills, By Marty Bell (1975)

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