10. The First Home of the U.S. Open Was Designed by McKim, Mead & White
The U.S. Open’s first home is now the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, and when the tournament began, it was part of the Newport Casino. The Newport Casino was never a place for gambling, but the word casino was a term for a social club during the Gilded Age, derived from the Italian word casa. Commissioned by newspaper owner James Gordon Bennett Jr., the now Hall of Fame was designed by Charles McKim and Stanford White, of McKim, Mead & White. Stanford White also designed the Venetian palazzo-inspired headquarters of the New York Herald for Bennett Jr., on the site that is now Herald Square.
The shingled, manor-style complex was intended to feel like the country clubs of England, which makes sense given that the American elite of this era were desperate to demonstrate to its European counterparts that it was equal in prestige. The creation of Central Park and Prospect Park fall into this effort, along with the modeling of Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn after the Champs-Élysées and Avenue Foch in Paris.
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