Brooklyn History Photo of the Week: Tennis in Prospect Park

Tennis Playing, Prospect Park, c.1875-1880, v1974.11.14; Photography Collection; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Tennis Playing, Prospect Park, c.1875-1880, v1974.11.14; Photography Collection; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Prospect Park, circa 1885. Lewis Nostrand Anderson Jr. is seen playing tennis with his cousin and two unidentified women. In 1881 lawn tennis was first introduced in Prospect Park and it became a popular recreational activity soon after. Thousands of visitors of all ages went to the park during their leisure time to enjoy outdoor activities and spend time with family and friends. The pastime eventually led to the building of the “Tennis House” in 1910, which was located in the Long Meadow section of Prospect Park. Today, the Tennis House is used as an office for Park Landscape management and various maintenance staff.

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4 Responses to Brooklyn History Photo of the Week: Tennis in Prospect Park

  1. Michael P says:

    Does anyone know where I can find a list of the families who donated the land to found Prospect Park?
    Thanks

  2. Margaret Kelly says:

    Great Photo, thanks for sharing. I am really enjoying all the photos you have posted. Keep up the good work!

  3. Patricia Glowinski says:

    Avon,

    It’s great you’re looking at the blog. Indeed, the photo was taken circa 1888 (an approximation). As for the Tennis House, this is from the Prospect Park Alliance website:

    “From 1978 to 2008, the Tennis House served as headquarters for the Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment (BCUE). Today it houses offices for park landscape management and maintenance staffs.”

    Thanks!

  4. Avon says:

    I’m confused – how much do I believe about tennis in Prospect Park?
    The photo caption says it’s 1875-80 and I know the Tennis House is (not “was”) not in the Long Meadow but on a height of land in the woods nearby, and is used for BCUE public environmental education programs.

    So why does the Society tell us that tennis began only afterwards, that the building is maintenance related now and was located in the Meadow, etc? And why not tell us that tennis often filled the entire Meadow, that the building supplied the equipment – and maybe even an explanation for the stripe pattern dominating tennis fashion?

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