Local Group Aims to Install First NYC Public Squash Court in East River Park Next Summer

Posted on: November 13th, 2015 at 10:32 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

There are apparently more than two thousand outdoor handball courts dotting the Five Boroughs, yet zero accommodations for squash players. One local organization hopes to change that in the coming months.

The nascent Public Squash Foundation – forged earlier this year – is at the forefront of that plan, and aims to make the game more accessible to the public. Plans are already underway to construct a flagship court on the Lower East Side. Site chosen for the inaugural placement is the “under-utilized” park space forty feet north of the tennis courts in East River Park.

The East River location is the first public squash court in what is likely a larger program. Setup is currently slated for summer 2016. As for what to expect from the structure itself, the intent is a semi-permanent facility that is easily maintained. “It will be open air with an eye catching minimalistic, transparent design,” Public Squash spokesperson (and pro) Christopher Gordon tells us. But don’t worry about the trees, as court dimensions won’t hurt the planting.

“The idea is to have the court up during the spring, summer, and fall, and then deconstruct it in the winter and put in storage. We are probably going for this roofless concept because it’s easier to maintain and is a more striking structure that can be taken down quickly if needed.”

This image has been archived or removed.

Photo: Public Squash Foundation

The above is a rendering of the open-air facility being proposed. We’re told it’s a glass court “finished with a formula” that’s kinda like a one-way window. Pedestrians can see in, but players on the court can’t see out, allowing the players an unfettered view of the ball.

Completion date is currently targeted for summer 2016.

As you might expect, though, Public Squash needs a hand to get going. The group kickstarted a crowdfunding campaign in August to help cover some $100,000 in overhead costs. All donations collected go toward the courts.

We are told that the Parks Department has already given the green light for the Public Squash Foundation to proceed. Although, we’ve yet to see the proposal listed on any recent Community Board 3 agendas.

Recent Stories

LES Synagogue Pursues Removal of Deed Restriction to Redevelop for Residential

As reported last month, the Lutowisker Synagogue on the eastern fringe of Delancey Street is headed toward redevelopment. The congregation, which owns the building and has been present on the Lower East Side since 1877, hopes to construct housing atop its house of worship. The proposal as it stands is to expand the building at […]

Famous Hakki Opens ‘Cluck’s’ Fried Chicken Spot on Essex Street

Famous pizza maker Hakki Akdeniz just unveiled his latest fast food concept. It’s chicken-focused fast food and seems poised to collect plenty of cash from weekend revelers in Hell Square. Cluck’s debuted last week at 115 Essex Street, mere steps from Hakki’s Champion Pizza. The signature menu offering here is the “chicken cone,” which is […]

Caught Red-Handed: Spa Ordered Shut for Prostitution

Yet another Lower East Side “spa” is busted for prostitution. Grand Healing at 297 Grand Street was ordered shut by the police department at the end of October. It precedes the sex-related closure of Good Luck Spa on Orchard Street, yet appears part of the same crackdown. (Just take a look at that calligraphy in […]

City Honors Sun Yat-Sen with Plaza and Permanent Statue in Columbus Park

Mayor de Blasio, Councilwoman Margaret Chin, and other politicians this week dedicated a slice Chinatown’s Columbus Park to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen. This past Tuesday, what would have been the 153rd birthday of the founding father of China, also marked the return of the bronze statue after the city excavated a new permanent home. The area […]

Enter the ‘Lion’s Den’ with Lee Quinones on Delancey

An iconic handball mural from one of the local greats is again on display. Strolling down Delancey Street this past week, you may have noticed the fifteen-foot replica of Lee Quinones‘ “Lion’s Den” mural. It’s fastened to the facade of the James Fuentes Gallery as part of his one-man show there. The “Lion’s Den” dates […]