Thursday, March 18, 2010

Central Park Tennis Bubble Plan to be Revisited by Upper East Side Community Board 8

Central Park Tennis courts - no bubble
A proposal by the Parks Department's revenue division would erect four thirty-five foot high bubbles from November to March on Central Park's tennis courts near W. 95th Street. (Photo:Flickr/Bobcatnorth)

Community Board Seven on the Upper East Side will revisit the Parks Department's controversial proposal to install four thirty-five foot tennis bubbles in Central Park, a National Historical landmark. According to several board members, CB 8 voted on a "concept" for the plan without knowing many details. CB 8, located on the Upper East Side heard the parks department plan a year before Community Board Seven, located on the Upper West Side where the tennis concession is located. 

"This was clearly a strategy on the City's part," said a CB 7 board member.

The plan most likely come before CB8's Landmarks Committee in April or May.  - Geoffrey Croft


Community leaders on the Upper East Side will likely revisit their decision to approve a winter bubble over Central Park's tennis courts after Upper West Side residents complained it would create an exclusive club,  according to a follow up report by DNAinfo.

Expensive court fees and environmental concerns were cited by Upper West Side residents at two recent public presentations to Community Board 7, causing Community Board 8 on the Upper East Side to take a closer look at the plan it approved in February of last year.

"It is most likely we will revisit the issue knowing this new information about the bubble," said Jackie Ludorf, chairwoman of Community Board 8. "Especially because this has become a big issue with Board 7."

It will cost visitors $30 to $100 an hour to play on the climate-controlled courts during the winter depending on demand, according to the Parks Department. The plan also calls for golf carts to shuttle uptown tennis players from Fifth Avenue and Central Park West to the courts.

"I was originally in support of the program, but at a lower fee," said Upper West Side resident Al Lewis, who has played tennis at Central Park near 95th Street for 15 years. "It's going to be ugly, and it's going to be an exclusive club."

The environmental impact and noise from a 24-hour generator needed to keep the climate-controlled bubble inflated raised concerns by Community Board 7, Ludorf said. The cost to run the generator and heat the 26 courts during the winter is part of the reason for the expensive fees.

Read More:

DNAinfo- March 17, 2010 - Bt Serena Solomon  

A winter racquet in Central Park 
New York Post - March 16, 2010  - By JEREMY OLSHAN

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