For many years the Forest Hills Tennis Center also known as the West Side Tennis Club stood dormant! For all intents and purposes, it was rotting away waiting for the wrecking ball to put it out of it’s misery.
1- The FHTC has history on it’s side: Built in 1923 and renovated in 2013 the FHTC has hosted legendary tennis players such as Arthur Ashe, Billie Jean King, Rod Laver, Chris Evert and Bjorn Borg to name a few.
2- Rock and Roll hall of fame bands have played the FHTC: Bob Dylan is coming this summer after his 51 year hiatus as well as Paul Simon. Iconic bands to play the FHTC include; The Beatles(64’), Rolling Stones(66’)and Jimi Hendrix(67’). Other bands who also played “back in the day” were The Cars, Asia, Wang Chung, Yes, The Talking Heads and The Doors!
3- The US Tennis Open left Forest Hills in 1977: After the 1977 tournament the US Open left the West Side Tennis Club and moved to Flushing Meadows, also in queens. There were small tennis tournaments held there and lesser known bands into the 1990’s until the costs to maintain the building become too high and the building was shuttered for almost 20 years.
4- It reopened in 2013: for the Mumford & Sons concert.
5- Now the FHTC is on the upswing: There are more renovations in store and it was just announced that the “NY Empire” world tennis team will be playing in Forest Hills.
6-The FHTC was almost converted to condos: Many people don’t know that the West Side Tennis Club membership voted down 2 separate condo proposals.
7-Unique to the venue: Other than being walking distance from my house there’s no parking lot or street parking in the immediate area. It can be accessed by train or bus.