West Side Tennis Club presents plan to gut stadium for condos

New York has yet another stadium controversy afoot: On Tuesday night, the West Side Tennis Club in Queens unveiled for its members a plan to replace its 1923-era stadium with condos (and hideously ugly condos, too, if the rendering is any guide). The facade of the stadium, formerly the home of the U.S. Open and host to concerts by the Beatles and Talking Heads, among others, would be retained under the plan.

Club president Ken Parker insisted that saving the stadium would cost too much: “The stadium itself cannot be used. It’s not safe for people to climb into it.”

Several elected officials called yesterday for more community input into the project, with U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner declaring, “Just because the decisions are being made by people in white tennis shorts and not gray suit jackets doesn’t mean that the community shouldn’t have a say.” The Wall Street Journal’s reporter, meanwhile, noted on the paper’s blog that member reaction is mixed: “While some members want to save the 15,000-seat stadium, others recognize that residential development is a sensible use.” “Recognize”? Editorializing much there?

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One comment on “West Side Tennis Club presents plan to gut stadium for condos

  1. Like the Poe House in Greenwich Village, this faux preservation/redevelopment proposal is so ten years ago!!! Even if the façade and arches only are preserved, an alternative open and green scheme should be considered. Condos are simply unimaginative in this regard, and ignore some of the really forward looking possibilities for a 21st century signature at this spot.

    What comes to my mind on this day are some of the projects highlighted in this SolarSeeds blog “New York City is Pioneering in Ingenious Green Buildings and Roof-Top Garden Projects in the USA!” http://solarseeds.blogspot.com/2010/08/new-york-city-is-pioneering-in.html .

    A solar agriculture project at this site would keep the open space, perhaps develop school and tourist visits (and university partnerships), while also continue the visionary land-use tradition of Forest Hills, pay tribute to the farming history of Queens, and signal the seriousness of New York’s commitment to new technologies.

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