Tennis players will bid farewell to Walker Tennis Center with matches, story-telling and picture taking from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 23.
The city is tearing down the courts as part of its $1.2 million project to "improve" to War Memorial Park. Green space and a walking trail will replace the courts. Rather than get aerobic exercise, folks will now be able to walk and meditate on nature, to the constant wail of firetruck sirens and rumble of traffic on Markham Street.
Rebsamen Tennis Center at 12th Street, which is getting a $400,000 facelift, will absorb the Walker players. Rebsamen is currently closed two days a week because of city budget constraints.
The Walker courts were a gift to the city by the J. Wythe Walker family in honor of Robert Walker, a tennis player and race car driver who died at 25 in 1958 in a race car accident. His trophies are on display in the tennis center pro shop.
UPDATE: Mayor Stodola called to say the tournament court at Rebsamen will be renamed in honor of Walker.