Photos by Stacie Joy
A reader tipped us off to the current state of the public squash court at Hamilton Fish Park along Pitt and East Houston.
The court, located on one of Hamilton Fish Park's handball courts, is now an assortment of barricades surrounding a pile of supports that once kept the glass in place here.
The court arrived to great fanfare in the spring of 2018, a debut that garnered plenty of press attention, such as in Vogue.
This was the initiative of the Public Squash Foundation, which aims to offer free access to squash in public places.
We're bringing squash outdoors! Check out the @Public_Squash Court at Hamilton Fish Park, the first of its kind in the world! It's FREE to use and now open to the public. https://t.co/cIohG6a9eu pic.twitter.com/5qHPanCa5H— NYC Parks (@NYCParks) April 17, 2018
Per press materials at the time: "The inaugural all-glass court, manufactured by ASB Squash, is modeled on the type used at Professional Squash Association World Tour events, as well as the World Squash Federation World Championships and the Commonwealth Games. However, it has been modified for outdoor usage. The new court, at Hamilton Fish Park on the Lower East Side, was officially opened by New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver."
By spring 2019, someone had vandalized the court, shattering a glass section. There were efforts to raise money for repairs...
By the spring of 2021, the court was still out of commission...
And nearly four years of "closed for repairs" status, we're told that Parks employees recently removed the remaining glass walls... and that the squash court will not be replaced.
This is the outdoor squash court at Hamilton Fish Park, Manhattan, New York— Phillip Marlowe: BetterSquash (@bettersquash) April 4, 2021
It is currently closed for repairs, and they are looking for donations.https://t.co/k8IXzYp382
No. 29 in my beautiful squash courts series.
I guess this is why we can’t have nice things.
@7:00 am: Exactly what I came here to say.
ONE instance of vandalism and the whole thing became unusable for everyone.
I'll venture that, had this amenity been on the upper east side, *someone* would have found the money to replace the one glass panel.
What’s going on with NYC Parks and the LES but Tompkins apparently doesn’t have funding to maintain its lawns anymore. The two lawns by Ave B & 7th street are completely dead. The Central Lawn hasn’t been seeded or maintained for more than 5 years and now a good portion of it is worn down to bare dirt. I don’t know if it’s the Parks Department or our electeds who have turned their back on maintaining our parks and precious allotment of public green space.
The bald-faced lack of public amenities on east side is startling if you go over to the Hudson River and Battery Park. I encourage everyone to go over there to see what the more well-off residents and tourists enjoy. We beg for crumbs on the East Side. What is wrong with our representatives?? Yeah, we don't have so many rich patrons here but we also seem to lack political representation.
It's so depressing how much vandalism (in every form) is tolerated in our neighborhood. We need everything from more sidewalk cleaning to graffiti prevention to something to fight this more extreme vandalism. Sadly there doesn't seem to be much political will.
Wow. I never knew that was there.
Unbelievable. And probably whoever smashed that panel in an act of random violence probably doesn't even remember doing it.
Given the general state of decay and theft of valuable parkland on the east side, I am wondering where our esteemed Councilwoman, who claims to be such a fighter, is? Enquiring minds want to know.
and people walking their dogs over those dead fields
So many dogs. The gardeners have planted many things in the “dead” lawns. But yes They will be dead by spring if everyone is walking and peeing on them. They don’t poke up for another couple of months. The fences are there for a reason. Do we need barbed wire? Signs signs everywhere signs?
Or can we just be good neighbors once again?
And please don’t let your dogs poop on the Christmas tree pile. Kids once were enjoying it and neighbors were having a sit on it in the sun. It’s there for enjoyment and the local trees and community gardens to use.
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