Save the 47th Street fitness complex

To the Editor:

Hyde Park has a wonderful asset which we might lose.

For the past several months, rumors have spread about the property at 47th Street and Lake Park Avenue. Currently, it houses the following facilities: XS Tennis, an indoor tennis club, LA fitness and the University of Chicago Physical Therapy and Advocate Health Outpatient Center. The rumor mill contends that the site will no longer exist housing the above. Instead, it will be a retail business.

The site as it currently exists is truly an asset to this community: Individual players who practice here come from all over the city: as far north as the Ravenswood neighborhood to Museum Park, to the near North Side to Chatham on the Southern perimeters. It is the only indoor tennis court facility between East Bank to the North and Evergreen Park at 95th Street. The University of Illinois Women’s Tennis Team and the USTA and Illiana teams use it as their home training base. (The USTA 3.0 Women’s team is the current regional champion).

In its present location, the physical therapy center is attractive to its customers as it offers free parking and short walking distances. It is imperative to patients’ compliance to have highly trained professionals and easy accessibility in the vicinity (four CTA bus lines — No. 2, 6, 28 and 47 — and an exit/entrance ramp at 47th Street to Lake Shore Drive) as it means continuing quality in care. The staff at this facility is outstanding. The site is close to the parking. Its proximity to parking, walking and public transportation makes it the ideal facility for therapy. 

When approached about the possibility of staying, the providers of these facilities have all offered to continue their services at the above site. How can we — as a community — ensure that the site will continue functioning in its present form?

We, the undersigned, are willing — as a community — to support any efforts undertaken to the continuation of this site in its present form as indoor tennis courts, a fitness center and a physical therapy and outpatient care facility.

Carol Gittler
Christing Uhlig
Barbara Asner
Rita Glass
Pat Hollingsworth
Judith Shuldiner
Margaret Saphir
David Appel
John Coleman Jr.
Tim Moore
Ed Taylor
Sabina Charles
Bob Hartfield
Brad Lyttle
Russell Ray
Vivian Tillman