Wednesday, October 6, 2010

To WSTC: Vote Down Condo Plans For Tennis Stadium On 10/7 & Support Creative Reuse For The Greater Community

Please forward this posting to your friends, family, and WSTC members... A vote at the West Side Tennis Club is slated for October 7, 2010, and requires 2/3 approval of 291 voting-eligible members, in order to sell the iconic Forest Hills Tennis Stadium to Cord Meyer Development for typical condos, which would entail demolition, the loss of an icon, and out-of-context construction that only 75 condo owners would benefit from.

Before any members vote, please consider its firsts in tennis, music, and architectural history, and how a revitalized mixed-use stadium could revitalize our community and city's quality of life and economic conditions. If Cord Meyer demolished any part of it for condos (which can be built elsewhere), it would be equivalent to wiping an internationally-recognized site and "Forest Hills" off the map. 

As a WSTC member, YOU should VOTE NO on October 7th, and act on behalf of the greater public. Think twice!

Forest Hills Patch article:

Regardless of the outcome of the closed-door vote at the WSTC on 10/7, the greater community can still have a fair say and help save a "landmark at heart" by composing a letter in support of Landmark status, and requesting a most democratic public hearing at the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. Please take a few moments to do your part by visiting:

The Forest Hills Tennis Stadium merits City & State Landmark status, which would commemorate its history and recognize its prestige. It would open the door towards federal, state, city, and independent non-profit organizational funding opportunities for a sensible restoration, be a catalyst for a mixed-use creative revitalization, which may feature tennis matches, concerts, weddings, exhibits, school trips, charity events, music and art festivals, etc. It would abide with its original yet proven mission as "America's Tennis Stadium" according to a 1922 ad. 

Preservation and creative reuse would yield a greater economic return in the long-run, and accomplish the following:

1. Bring our community closer together
2. Boost tourism
3. Convey historic pride & educate our children
4. Help our local businesses through tough economic times & be an incentive for newer businesses i.e. on the Austin St corridor.  

Condos are a short-sighted, temporary, least imaginative solution towards settling a debt, but history is forever. Let's realize the larger picture, referring to future generations, the tennis and music greats, and an architectural first countrywide by famed architect Kenneth Murchison. Typical condos represent "Anytown USA," but this is a landmark opportunity for something truly unique for ALL. Demolition of an icon for condos = The Penn Station case of Queens!

Typical condos would accomplish the following:

1. Cater to a relatively select few condo owners (75 units = 200 new residents), rather than being a 21st century family destination.
2. The burdening of our infrastructure
3. Overcrowding of schools
4. If the majority is demolished for a typical condo under Cord Meyer's current proposal, it would pave the way for more demolitions of historic sites in the Forest Hills  Gardens, which is bounded by Restrictive Covenants, which supposed to safeguard historic sites and consequently bars such demolition.
5. Adversely affect property values within the Forest Hills Gardens, and the adjacent Van Court section, for example.
6. The soul of an icon would be eliminated, and the bulk of current and future generations would have regrets that we lost an internationally-recognized icon that could have been preserved and creatively reused, which Forest Hills is so fortunate to have. It would leave a scar upon our community, and upon the countless supporters abound, in the name of architectural and cultural history.


1. Rego-Forest Preservation Council Photoset featuring Stadium, Clubhouse, Memorabilia - 

2. Forest Hills Tennis Stadium: Gallery 1 featuring Joe Shlabotnik/Peter Dutton's photos -  

3. Forest Hills Tennis Stadium: Gallery 2 featuring Joe Shlabotnik/Peter Dutton's photos -

Bookmark-worthy blogs for stadium campaign updates:

1. Rego-Forest Preservation Council:
2. The Forest Hills Gardens Blog:
3. Edge of The City: A Forest Hills, NY Blog:


  1. Keep the stadium. Queens should take a page from Brooklyn's play book. They preserve their landmarks. We are losing character at such an alarming rate. You'd think Forest Hills would have learned their lesson after the Trylon incident. Today it stands among the eyesores that currently litter Queens Boulevard. Do you really want Forest Hills to become a mass of McMansions and condos? Time for some self respect and don't let the community deteriorate any more than it has.

  2. Michael whatever you do I'm behind you.