Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Landmark Campaign for Forest Hills Tennis Stadium: Diversity of Support Letters & How You Can Help

The Forest Hills Tennis Stadium is the heart of the West Side Tennis Club, as stated in a vintage Holiday magazine feature.
Since July 23, 2010, Rego-Forest Preservation Council has launched an ongoing letter campaign to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, urging a most democratic public hearing and landmarking for the endangered Forest Hills Tennis Stadium. Not only would it preserve a historic site in terms of tennis, music, and architectural firsts, but city, state, and federal landmarking would have financial benefits for restoring the historic stadium, which would then tie into the long-term historic appeal and economic benefits of the West Side Tennis Club and greater community. Landmarking is a must-have!

***This is the landmark letter campaign link, which you still have the power of participating in, by composing a letter of support, even if it's brief. Also, forward this post to friends, encouraging them to do the same. Base it upon the following:

Below is a handful of landmark support letters, representing the diversity of prominent figures, residents, tennis, art, and preservation organizations. More to appear on this blog in the coming days....

10/6/10 Landmark Support Letter from Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe:

9/9/10 Landmark Support Letter from Peter Pennoyer Architects:

9/2/10 Landmark Support Letter from The New York Landmarks Conservancy:

Dear Chairman Tierney:

The Conservancy joins local elected officials in requesting that the Landmarks Preservation Commission evaluate the West Side Tennis Stadium in Forest Hills, to determine if it should be designated as an Individual Landmark.

The arena has been home to pivotal events in the history of tennis and NY tennis in particular, since it opened nearly 100 years ago. As this year's US Open gets underway, we're reminded of the many famous matches played for over 50 years, when the Open was known simply as "Forest Hills."

We acknowledge that the Stadium has not been used to its full advantage since the Open left, and that some features may be in poor condition, but the overall volume is unchanged from its most significant era. Protected by landmark designation, it could be restored and re-used to its best potential use, as a sports and entertainment complex.

The West Side Tennis Stadium embodies the vibrant tennis culture which flourished in the 1960s and 70s, and is a monument of NY's social history. We urge the Commission to work quickly to study and evaluate the West Side Tennis Stadium.

Yours Truly,

- Peg Breen, President, The New York Landmarks Conservancy

8/16/10 Landmark Support Letter from the American Institute of Architects:

Dear Chairman Tierney,

Given the circumstances surrounding the possible sale of the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium for development, the Preservation Committee of the Queens Chapter of the American Institute of Architects encourages the Commission to calendar a hearing as soon as possible, to consider the merits of the Tennis Stadium for designation as a NYC Landmark.

In our opinion, it has true value in its historical significance as the home of the United States Tennis Open Championship from 1923 to 1977.

We believe the Stadium alone and as part of the greater West Side Tennis Club complex - a storied venue in the annals of tennis history - stands as a symbol of past glory and sporting firsts, and that it should be celebrated as a source of civic pride, not only by residents of Forest Hills, but by all New Yorkers, and forever be preserved as an example of our city's 20th century heritage.

Should a hearing be scheduled, please note that the Preservation Committee of the Queens AIA wholeheartedly endorses designation of the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium as a NYC Landmark.


- Laura Heim, AIA Queens President
- Kevin Wolfe, AIA Queens Preservation Committee
- Michael Almon, AIA Queens Preservation Committee

1 comment:

  1. This story tells of the stadiums historic concerts over the years