Didn't know much about the history of the National Tennis Center and I love the USO so I really enjoyed reading this.
Posted by wilson75
11/30/2010 at 06:14 PM
Steve: Thanks for this piece. I never knew the history behind the NTC. It's a pity that Armstrong and Grandstand has to go. I'm not sure when they will be bulldozed but if they are there for next year's USO it would be a nice send-off if they scheduled some matches that involve some of the top players on those courts.
Great! Sad they are gonna smash the place where so many epic battles took place and where the Doors played that show, it should stay. Why don't they just build a "lighter-than-air" roof for the Arthur Ashe stadium, some sort of flat zeppelin, or actually two or more, connect them to cables and tow them on top of the stadium when it rains or when the wind is too strong to have a decent match. When not needed these L-T-A roof modules could be parked on top of a bunch of columns next to the stadium or even on the ground though then it would take longer to move the roof on top of the stadium. Basically the roof would be something like a giant saucer shaped rigid air-ship infated with hot air, or actually considering the size of what's to cover it could be 2 or 4 segments. It should be technically possible (the technology is from around 1870) if the roof is only needed for the US Open period.
Posted by VE
11/30/2010 at 10:09 PM
Steve, as a fan for whom the world stops when the US Open invades this city, thanks for the history lesson.
Posted by Abe
12/01/2010 at 05:41 AM
Well! thanks for the history behind the US Open and the NTC
Posted by just horsen
12/01/2010 at 08:19 AM
Avec Double Cordage: because it's not just about the roof. The foundations are sinking as well. That's really the main reason, I think.
Posted by jodiecate
12/01/2010 at 08:37 AM
Thanks Steve, very interesting to hear about the transition from grass to concrete - it gives a very clear visual image of that evolution. Thanks!
Posted by David
12/01/2010 at 10:11 AM
M.A.---where is your exclamation point?
Steve---Why R U subtly trashing Gene Scott?
Didn't he suddenly die recently?
I thought he did alot for the sport...no?
Doesn't he leave a widow and kids?
I really liked the article, as I do most of your writing...
I don't get it.
Posted by Sahana
12/01/2010 at 11:12 AM
That was some history leason in NTC. Thank you.
MAN...YOU ARE SO GOOD.
You move between two different eras with such elan, you are indeed a great writer.
I adore the USO.
Posted by Ross (FOE, even Gael)
12/01/2010 at 04:06 PM
Wonderful article. Thanks.
I actually remember the West Side Tennis Club and Forest Hills Gardens fondly. The most memorable matches of my youth were played at Forest Hills--'53 semis (Trabert, Seixas, Rosewall and Hoad) and Hoad's first pro match v. Gonzales ('57?).
Posted by pegofmyheart
12/01/2010 at 05:42 PM
Please not the Grandstand! I love the place even when it had that horrible restaurant lining one wall. Even the players liked it because it went to shade. I even like Louis Armstrong where for years I had the best seats right in back of the boxes and was then relegated to nosebleed territory in Ash which quite frankly I refuse to enter.
But Slew was great! My first National was watching Mo Connolly and Sedgman win and we had to wear dresses and sit on our hands. But in later years Forest Hills was horribly crowded and the move was well overdue (Note: I was one of people causing a riot when they tried to cancel a Vilas match because of rain.)
Still I can see they have to build a bigger alternate to Armstrong and hopefully rain proofed. I am with Double Cordage. The Hamburg tournament used to have some kind of light tent like structure and surely engineers could do likewise. As for Ashe it is hideous. Build a much better stadium to take its place and then strip it down. The vertigo is one thing but the boxes destroyed all the synergy of the crowd to say nothing of being empty for lots of the time.
Posted by d
12/02/2010 at 11:22 AM
beautiful. I love the patrician - democratic theme, with newport - forest hills - flushing, and Olmstead - Moses, mock English - true American, Lamar Hunt, Slew Hester, ...
Posted by Ross (FOE, even Gael)
12/02/2010 at 01:18 PM
"My first National was watching Mo Connolly and Sedgman win...." Wow! Great start! Little Mo was one of the all-time greats, although never mentioned in these pages. I did watch her too--on tv.
Posted by Steve
12/05/2010 at 12:33 PM
thanks, d, i'm glad those themes came through. this is hopefully part of a chapter of a book i'm writing about the 1981 us open. at least i know one person will get it