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
- 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.
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.
Looks like a fun place. What do you think?
Ebony wood library shelves, white upholstery, colors from books and accessories. Varying textures to reflect and absorb light.
Color must be an integral part of room design and never an after-thought. Colors that you choose are dependent on the adjacent colors. All colors have three parts, hue, intensity and tonal value.
Hue identifies the color, intensity is the brilliance of a hue, tonal value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color.
Light colors reflect light, dark color absorb light. Color is never experienced independently, but in combination with one of several textures, in different material types. For example, a glossy satin will have luster and light, while rough textures with its shadows will appear darker. Textured fabrics appear darker than smooth fabrics in similar colors (hues). Smooth surfaces that have a glaze or sheen reflect maximum light causing colors to appear lighter than fabrics with a dull finish.
Most rooms have natural and artificial light. Natural light is white, but in comparison to artificial light, it has a bluish appearance. Today artificial light comes in many choices, from encapsulated incandescent and fluorescent (white to warm tones if dimmed) and LEDs (white).
Mark Hampton sunny space with upholstery and draperies that reflect and absorb light.
The amount of natural light in a room depends upon window placement, the size of the windows, and the window coverings. Rooms with sunny exposure will be warmer than those with no sun, as in a northern exposure. In a room where natural light is not plentiful, the colors for walls and ceiling should be light in tonal value, on a scale from 1 (darkest) to 10 (lightest), use an 8 or 9 value. Upholstery and color accents may be slightly darker and brighter in intensity.
Mark Hampton dark walls, tall windows, natural light
Darker tones on the walls (value 4 or less), depending on the character of the room, can be painted in a semi-gloss or satin finish for light bounce. Paint in a semi-gloss gives light reflections that help to maintain the luminosity.
What do you think? Did this color talk arouse your curiosity, would you like more. How do you think artificial light affects color?
Lagoon View Fall
The Osprey, with its wide wingspan, zoomed down into the lagoon, feet first, from its nesting place nearby. The silent spring was interrupted by the rattle of wings. From her place on the rock, Cornelia raised her eyes to the sound. Her arm was suddenly jerked by the leash in her hand. Holding onto it, she followed the dog’s trail to see the Osprey’s catch.
Cornelia, the only daughter of the eminent George Vanderbilt, was raised in this palatial atmosphere. George, the builder of Biltmore and the great-grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, opened his country estate to friends, family and heads of states.
The tale above tells us a little about George’s daughter Cornelia and her precious puppy…and according to history, George’s father, William Henry Vanderbilt, continued the legacy of the Vanderbilt empire in railroad and shipping created by the Commodore. He doubled the value of the Vanderbilt lines, to approximately two hundred million dollars.
The 1989 book “The Vanderbilts” by Jerry E. Patterson, states, “They were, and remain today, among the richest families in the world, and they lived as the world expected them to, lavishly and publicly.”
Biltmore Christmas Fantasy
George Vanderbilt, through his inheritance, in 1888 purchased the land that would ultimately become the Biltmore.
George Vanderbilt first welcomed guests to the Biltmore House on Christmas Eve 1895. Today, that tradition is kept alive each year as the Biltmore House is filled with hundreds of trees and garlands from the area. Each year, the 34-foot-tall Banquet Hall Christmas tree wows Biltmore’s guests.
During Candlelight Christmas Evenings, the Oak Sitting Room glows in the light from candles and matching fireplaces at either end of the room
Oak Sitting Room
The glow of hundreds of lights and a roaring fire illuminate George Vanderbilt’s Library during Christmas at Biltmore.
The Tapestry Gallery during Christmas shines in tones of green, blue and gold. The tapestries reach from floor to ceiling and wall to wall. We breathed in the beauty.
During our stay, Tom and I were treated royally. We enjoyed the warmth and wonder of Candlelight Christmas.
The Banquet Hall is 72 feet long, 42 feet wide and 70 feet high. It could seat up to 64 guests.
Mr. Vanderbilt's Bedroom
George Vanderbilt’s bedroom, in red with deep rich wood- toned furnishings of Victoriana.
Mrs. Vanderbilt's Bedroom
Mrs. Vanderbilt’s bedroom is dressed with contrasting fabrics in yellow and black. The French furnishings painted white add a country flavor, an informality in contrast to the formality found throughout the home.
The Winter Garden is located in the front hall. In November when we visited, the garden was filled with Christmas, decorated with Christmas trees, plants, poinsettias, musicians, choirs of high school angels and more.
Thanks to LeeAnn Donnelly, Senior Public Relations Manager at the Biltmore in Asheville, NC, for permission to use the Biltmore images.