Renaissance Revival: The Racquet and Tennis Club NYC

Renaissance Revival: The Racquet and Tennis Club NYC

1918 Racquest and Tennis Club NYC

Tennis on my mind. The Australian Open begins the tennis season in January in a summer place, while we have snow and ice surrounds here in the Northeast. I’ve been involved with tennis since 1973, so I’ve seen it have those swings, pardon the pun, from hot to cold, and I’m not talking about temperature. Tennis courts so busy, you couldn’t find one to play on, to so many courts and no one interested to play. This has come full circle. Tennis is in again. Play tennis . . . a great exercise and mind challenging game. In 1918, NYC’s Racquet and Tennis club, designed by McKim, Mead and White, very much the palace style of architecture,

Racquet and Tennis club 370 Park Avenue, NYC-

Renaissance Revival. A popular style in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Italian Renaissance Revival

Identifiable Features

  • Low-pitched hipped or flat roof.
  • Symmetrical facade.
  • Masonry construction.
  • Impressive size and scale.
  • Round arch entrance and windows.
  • Classical details: columns, pilasters.
  • Roof line parapet or balustrade.
  • Arcaded and rusticated ground level.

    Details

Surprised me, I have never visited this beautiful club in NYC. After all, I’m a certified USPTA tennis teaching pro, and have played tennis in most states, and in London, and Bangladesh. And I taught History of Architecture at the university level. I wonder how many pros have been there?

On the fourth and fifth floors what is really special about the Racquet Club is on display. On the south end are two court tennis courts, something like indoor tennis courts but with some odd angles and sloping walls. Court tennis involves rebounds off all four walls, changing boundaries, second chances and other arcane rules more like chess than regular tennis.A link from Google Maps for your perusal. The roof is glass: http://bit.ly/2j9Zy0p,

The interior contained three dining rooms, a billiard room, library, lounge, gymnasium, four squash courts, two court tennis (real tennis) courts, and two racquets courts. Today, there are four International squash courts, one North American doubles squash court, one racquets court, and the two court (real) tennis courts.

On July 13, 1983, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The club sold its air rights on Park Avenue to a developer a number of decades ago, resulting in the unusual sight, for New York, of a glass-clad skyscraper rising in the middle of the block, immediately behind the club.

If it interests you to know details, Wikipedia has a handle on them.

Racquet and Tennis Club – Wikipedia

Looks like a fun place. What do you think?

PHOENIX, AZ and WRIGLEY GUM

PHOENIX, AZ and WRIGLEY GUM

Wrigley Estate In Phoenix, Arizona. In Arizona, it’s all about the mountains.

Wrigley was famous for giving us the tantalizing chewing gum. He gave us culture and influenced the character of Phoenix, Arizona with his presence and architecture.

Wriggley rooftops. Arizona rooftops look like Portugal rooftops.

The Wrigley Mansion was built by chewing gum magnate, William Wrigley, Jr., as a 50th wedding anniversary gift for his wife Ada. They named it “La Colina Solana,” meaning the sunny hill. After enjoying his new home only a few times, Wrigley fell ill and died there.

The custom, in the late 19th and early 20th century, for the big money men, were to build small country homes, this one 16,850 square feet. Check out the number of rooms.

The Wrigley’s winter cottage was the smallest Wrigley house, covering 16,850 square feet, with 24 rooms and 17 bathrooms.

After Wrigley’s death, the house passed through several owners, serving for a time as extra space for the Arizona Biltmore and then as an exclusive, private club. Eventually, local millionaire George Hormel bought the house. An egalitarian sort, Hormel wanted everyone to be able to enjoy it. The Wrigley Mansion is required to operate as a private club because of zoning restrictions, but to allow everyone to enjoy it, he set the annual dues at only ten dollars, which are donated to local charities. The dues can be paid in advance or at the door.

The Wrigley Mansion is located on a hill just above the Arizona Biltmore, and they offer tours twice a day. Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance for all tours.

Today, the Wrigley Mansion is used mostly for events and weddings, but they also serve dinner on weekends and Sunday brunch, and the bar is open on Friday and Saturday evenings. We recommend getting there shortly before sunset and snagging a table on the balcony for some of the best views in the city.

Other Wrigley Houses

Wrigley also owned houses in other places. His primary residence in Chicago is used mostly for filming these days and his Pasadena house (bought so his wife Ada could watch the Rose Parade in comfort) is now the headquarters of the Tournament of Roses. His Catalina Island house operates as a high-end bed and breakfast called the Inn on Mt. Ada. His fourth home was in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Getting to the Wrigley Mansion

Wrigley Mansion
2501 East Telawa Trail
Phoenix, AZ
602-955-4079
www.wrigleymansionclub.com

Ninety-three degrees and no humidity. Great for swimming and suntanning.

Last week, we were in Phoenix. We are treated with a visit to Phoenix, now and then, to visit our children. The weather was gorgeous, everyday. We swam. Our grandkids prompted and pushed us on the water slide. Unexpected fun.

Early evening sunset in Arizona.

Evenings with family.

From New England to the Southwest. Would you go in the winter, spring, summer or fall? What’s your guess? If you had a choice, would you choose the southwest or the southeast?

Wrigley Mansion info from About.com.

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