Saturday, May 7, 2011

Landmark Status - RKO Keith's vs Forest Hills Tennis Stadium

I usually don't comment on political issues even on the local level.  I grew up in Rego Park which is adjacent to Forest Hills.  I fondly remember going to a Simon and Garfunkel concert at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium back in 1967.  I did not have the money to get tickets for Bob Dylan when he performed there in 1965.  In that famous concert he was booed by the folk music enthusiasts as he went electric. New York City has denied landmark status to the Forest Hills tennis stadium since the architectural features have deteriorated.  The residents of that area are trying to prevent it from being torn down as a developer want to build condominums there.  Isn't Forest Hills congested enough right now?

Let's look at the RKO Keith's Theater which is near where I live now.  It has been an eyesore since the mid 1980s when the theater closed.  However, the theater's lobby has been designated a landmark.  My question is how can something be a landmark is nobody has seen it in 25 years?  Meanwhile the structure has been just standing there all these years. It seems that it can't be developed since  the lobby is a landmark.

I just don't understand why the Keith's theater lobby is a landmark, while the Tennis Stadium is not.  The US Open was played there for many years until it was moved to Flushimg Meadows Park.  There were many concerts there including the Beatles and Dylan years ago.  I certainly feel that the tennis stadium has more historical value than a local movie theater.

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