Governor George E. Pataki today joined tennis legend Jim Courier, the Stuyvesant High School Tennis Team, the Hudson River Park Trust and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) to open three brand new tennis courts in the Lower Manhattan portion of the Park. The tennis courts replaced those that were in Battery Park City and closed after 9/11. "These tennis courts are just one more indication of our commitment to rebuilding Lower Manhattan's residential community," said Governor Pataki. "These courts which will be free and open to the public, can now be enjoyed by downtown residents, workers, and neighboring schools. Open spaces and recreational facilities are so important to communities, which is why our rebuilding efforts include the creation or renovation of over a dozen different green spaces throughout Lower Manhattan. All of these park projects are part of our vision for transforming downtown into a true mixed use community." Charles "Trip" Dorkey, III, President of the Hudson River Park Trust said, "These tennis courts are a great new amenity for both the residents of Lower Manhattan and to visitors to Hudson River Park at large. With the help of the LMDC we were able to create yet one more way for New Yorkers to reconnect with the spectacular Hudson River and aid in the very important revitalization efforts downtown. Thanks to the support of Governor Pataki, we continue to improve and enhance Hudson River Park." John C. Whitehead, Chairman of the LMDC, said "This is an important investment for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, and one that we know will pay dividends to both the immediate community and the many other New Yorkers and visitors to the area who will find easily accessible these new tennis courts and the many exciting and diverse amenities of the sprawling Hudson River Park." Kevin M. Rampe, President of the LMDC said, "Paramount to the revitalization process in Lower Manhattan is improving the quality of life for its residents. Under Governor Pataki's leadership we have allocated $25 million for a park renaissance-- creating and improving over a dozen parks downtown. We committed an additional $2.6 million for Hudson River Park, a waterfront oasis and a tremendous asset to the community and its visitors. These 'green' amenities will help lift the spirits in Lower Manhattan as the area evolves into a true mixed-used community." Timothy S. Carey, President of the Battery Park City Authority said, "We are delighted to see the return of public tennis courts to the area. Recreational space is important to area residents, and thanks to Governor Pataki, Chairman Dworkey and President Rampe, residents of Battery Park City and Lower Manhattan in general will find great pleasure on these courts." The courts, located right near the River's edge between West Houston and Canal Streets, were designed by Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, P.C. in conjunction with the Trust's Design and Construction team headed up by Marc Boddewyn. The courts' waterfront location not only offer a majestic setting, but are also easily accessible to the substantial and growing residential communities along the west side of Lower Manhattan and Greenwich Village. The courts are free and open to the public and will operate from 6:00 A.M. to dusk during the spring, summer and fall. The tennis courts were built with funding from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation which helps plan and coordinate the rebuilding and revitalization of Lower Manhattan. The LMDC works in cooperation with partners in both the public and private sectors to coordinate long-term planning for the World Trade Center site and surrounding communities, while also pursuing other initiatives to improve the quality of life in Lower Manhattan during the revitalization effort. The partnership between the Hudson River Park Trust and the LMDC is a primary example of such an initiative. Hudson River Park, designed to be a self-sustaining park, is the first project of its kind. Hudson River Park and the Hudson River Park Trust, the entity charged with designing, building and maintaining the Park, were created in 1998 when Governor George E. Pataki signed the Hudson River Park Act into law. When completed, Hudson River Park will stretch five miles - from Battery Park to 59th Street - along the Hudson River and will include a continuous waterside esplanade and bikeway/walkway, over 13 piers designed for both passive and active public recreation, a marine sanctuary, a large variety of performance venues, boating facilities, recreation fields, gardens, and green lawns. Substantial portions of the project are already complete and include the Greenwich Village Section stretching from Clarkson Street to Horatio Street and a continuous two-way bike and jogging path.