Home  |  Tennis Event Calendar  |  Tennis Rules and Regulations  |  Tennis Finals Week    

About Us

Established in 1895, the Casino is Garden City's Oldest social organization and has a history as rich as that of the community it serves. The Garden City Casino Association, the original governing body of the Casino, was formed so that the managers of Alexander T. Stewart's estate could turn over the Casino building to this community social organization. When it was built in 1885, there was an aura of secrecy around the building's intended use. Initial news reports claimed that it was to be a roller rink - the rink in Hempstead was a major attraction at the time. Other reports speculated that it was to be a shooting gallery. Unfortunately we will never know. But, almost from the beginning, the Casino featured racquet sports with 3 grass tennis courts and a stretch lawn for croquet.

Below are a few links with regards to the Garden City Casino

By Laws

Tennis Rules and Regulations


History of the Garden City Casino

Merriam-Webster defines the word “casino” as “a building or room used for social amusements”.  The Garden City Casino has never offered gambling.  In fact, its original purpose was to cater to out-of-town worshippers visiting the Cathedral.  The Garden City Casino began as a modest structure called the “Stewart Arms” that was built around 1885.  It was a place to rest, wait for a train, or meet with friends.  Over time, it became popular with Villagers as well, and was known as the Garden City Club.  It boasted 2 grass tennis courts, a croquet lawn, and an indoor stage for amateur theatricals.  Like the rest of Garden City’s commercial and residential property, the Garden City Club and the park adjacent to it were owned by the Stewart family.  After Alexander & Cornelia Stewart died, the Stewart heirs formed The Garden City Company in order to oversee the continued development of Garden City.  The Garden City Company reversed the earlier A. T. Stewart policy of retaining ownership and control of Village property.  Residents were now able to purchase their homes, rather than leasing them from the Stewarts.  The Garden City Company also sold tracts of land to residential developers.


By 1895, the Garden City Club was extensively redesigned and remodeled by famed architect Stanford White.  White was married to one of Cornelia Stewarts heirs and was a director of the Garden City Company.  The club was enlarged, and now featured a newly refurbished ballroom.  The Garden City Company offered the club members exclusive use of the Garden City Club, although they retained ownership of the property.  The members promptly organized as the Garden City Casino Association, with membership open to all residents of Garden City.  As one of the few sources of entertainment in the Village, it was immediately popular. Although still primarily a tennis club, it also offered bowling and billiards, and the ladies saw to it that there were weekly concerts and theatricals, soiree musicales, daily afternoon teas, euchre and debating clubs, lectures, dances, and cotillions.”


In 1920, The Garden City Company deeded a number of tracts of land to the Village of Garden City to be used as greenspace.   Among these was the area bordered by Cathedral Avenue on the west, Hilton Avenue on the east, the Long Island Rail Road on the north, and Sixth St. on the South.  The Village now owned the Casino and the Casino Association continued to manage the  building and tennis courts.  This arrangement was formally spelled out in successive 20-year license agreements between the Village and the Casino members.


Today, The Garden City Casino continues as a social, tennis, and bridge club that is open to all residents of Garden City. The Casino building remains largely unchanged since 1895.  The open porches on the east & west sides of the ballroom have been enclosed, and the main entrance has been moved from Cathedral Avenue to Sixth Street.  However, the overall design of the exterior has not been compromised, and many original design features have survived. The clubhouse is historically significant in that it is the only Stanford White building that remains standing in Garden City.  (Stanford Whited designed the iconic Garden City hotel and the old library building.  Both have been torn down.)


Times have changed, and we no longer offer bowling or croquet.  Our event spaces still host social functions for members and their guests, but they can also be rented by the general public as well.  We no longer have grass tennis courts, but instead offer 4 beautifully maintained “har tru” outdoor courts.  The Casino is operated and managed by volunteers, and, as one of the oldest institutions in Garden City, we are extremely proud of our 127-year heritage!