Years Overdue, NYC’s First Public Squash Court Debuts at Hamilton Fish Park

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 at 5:06 am by

Photo: Robert Carmona

In case you’ve forgetten, that highly-publicized outdoor squash court planned for Pitt Pool on the Lower East Side is still happening. In fact, it just debuted yesterday after nearly two years of delays.

The temporary squash amenity is the first of its kind in New York City – a public court open to all.

The three-year-old Public Squash Foundation had previously crowdfunded $70K and obtained a $30K interest-free loan to construct the all-glass, weather-proof squash court here on the Lower East Side. Their primary goal is to shed the stubborn elitist vibe, and make the game more accessible to the public. The initial plan, as first revealed to us in November 2015, was a semi-permanent installation inside East River Park tennis courts. Yet that proved futile. Instead, the enclosed court found a home inside the Hamilton Fish Park with the initial unveiling of summer 2016.

The court itself is a glass enclosure that cost $85,000 to install, and comes at the expense of a handball wall. Designed by manufacturer ASB, it’s easily maintained with safety glass and subfloor drainage mats to make it viable outside use. It’ll be publicly available for year-round play, completely free, and with no booking systems. “Street rules” are apparently in effect. Those with their own equipment can play for free; otherwise free rentals will be available with the Hamilton Fish Recreation Center membership for $100 per year.

The glass box will remain in place for a pilot period of one year before the powers-that-be reassess. To gauge success, the crew will review output from its time-lapse camera onsite that will relay usage trends. After the year, the Public Squash Foundation and the Parks Department will revisit.

Recent Stories

These are the Top Checkouts at NYPL Branches on the Lower East Side

The New York Public Library has just released every bookworm’s favorite year-end list: 2018’s top checkouts systemwide, by borough, by branch, and by genre. This year’s overall victor of the city library stacks was none other than Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan. But Lower East Side branches opted for another bestseller. Seward Park and Mulberry […]

Mayor Heads to Chinatown Today to Discuss Revised Jail Plan (Privately)

Mayor de Blasio is headed to Chinatown this morning for a closed-door meeting to discuss the revised plans for a prison high-rise. The private meet-and-greet with Councilwoman Margaret Chin and other “community stakeholders” follows on the heels of Hizzoner’s cancelation of plans to redevelop 80 Centre Street into a 430-foot glassy jail complex. Nixing this […]

Mount Sinai Inks Deal for Rivington House Behavioral Health Facility

An end-of-year surprise. It appears that health care is in fact returning to Rivington House. And allegedly at the expense of condo conversion. Neighbors to Save Rivington House group disclosed this week that co-owner Slate Property Group recently signed a “Letter of Intent” with Mount Sinai Hospital to move its “Behavioral Health” program into the […]

Long-Vacant Pit on 2nd Avenue will be Plugged with 10-Story Condo

It’s been a hole in the ground for the last eighteen years. Next up, more condos. The splintered plywood just below 2nd Avenue and East 2nd Street, as well as the First Street Green art park, shields pedestrians from the detritus below. In what was the former footprint of Irreplaceable Artifacts, which was destabilized and […]

Years Overdue, Bowery-Houston Leg of Roadwork Ending; Resurfacing Soon

Tonight is apparently an event not to miss here on the Lower East Side. The intersection of East Houston and the Bowery finally gets its due and proper. Roadwork on this spot is (supposedly) at the finish line, and tonight supposedly begins the resurfacing. A Boogie informant spoke with a foreman onsite who confirmed the […]