A capacious old attic on the third floor of Grand Central Terminal, located directly above Vanderbilt Hall, has since 1965 been home to two clay tennis courts. While open to the public for a fee of $170 an hour, the courts are one of the city's best-kept secrets, or, rather, they were—Metro-North administrators have decided to replace the courts with a rest area for conductors and train engineers. According to the Daily News, the new facility will include bunk beds, showers, lockers and a lounge.
Metro-North workers are elated, but Donald Trump, who has leased the courts since the '70s, is sad, which puts us in the uncomfortable position of empathizing the Donald; the thought of celebs like Robert Duvall, Dustin Hoffman, and John McEnroe hitting a ball around above Grand Central seems somehow more romantic than a big locker room. Trump had been leasing the courts for just $4 a square foot, while the average rent in the landmark terminal for restaurants and other retail shops is $99 a square foot. That sweetheart deal ends on Memorial day, and he tells the News, "It's very sad that it's over; it's a great place."
The Municipal Art Society, which conducts weekly tours of Grand Central Terminal, has more on the tennis court space, which was used as a CBS soundstage in the '40s. The first episodes of “What’s My Line?” and Edward R. Murrow’s news program “See It Now”—including the famous series on Senator Joseph McCarthy—were broadcast from there. It's said that CBS left because of the train rumblings, and in 1965, Geza A. Gazdag, a Hungarian immigrant, built the tennis courts. At one point, Gazdag even installed a 65-foot long indoor ski slope made of plastic brush!