For twenty years there were public tennis courts at the corner of Phelan and Judson Avenues—the only park facility in Sunnyside then. It attracted tennis aficionados from all over, such as these folks visiting from a fancier part of town in 1932.
The facility was opened in 1927 with great fanfare—Mayor James “Sunny Jim” Rolph gave the dedication address, and a small army of politicians, as well as Superintendent of Parks John McLaren, gave speeches.
Beforehand there was a parade, starting at Hamburg Street (now Ridgewood), along Monterey to Edna, down to Hearst, over to Gennessee, then south to the new courts.
The event was organized by the Sunnyside Improvement Association (predecessor to the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association). At that time there was a Sunnyside Merchants’ Association, as we had a good deal more businesses on Monterey then. (Interested in the history of Sunnyside businesses? Take the Midcentury Monterey Boulevard walk.) Sponsoring businesses were listed on the back of the event program, such as the first Monterey Deli.
The celebrations included a “Tennis Dance” announced in the Chronicle the week before.
The tennis courts (which were also used for volleyball) were open until just after World War II, when the need for housing for veterans enrolled in City College of San Francisco (then SF Junior College) pushed the college into creative solutions for the housing crisis.
On the land where the tennis courts had been, the college erected Quonset huts brought from military camps, to provide married student housing. It was planned in March 1946 and completed by June. Now that is a swift response to a housing crisis.
Each hut had two units, each with a living/kitchette area and two small bedrooms. Also included was gas, electricity, plumbing, and hot/cold running water.
The Parks Dept was given in trade land at Havelock and Circular, where tennis courts can still be found, now nestled next to the scenic I-280 Freeway. This new housing development closed the tennis courts, meaning that Sunnyside now had no park facility at all, until the Sunnyside Playground was built in the 1960s. Read more about the building of that park here.
The new Quonset hut housing was opened in October 1946 with a ceremony. It was called Hurley Village after Major John Hurley, the only CCSF faculty member to have been killed in action in WWII.
Read more about post-WWII City College history in this post: WAVES, West Campus, and Waterless Basins: the History of the Balboa Reservoir 1945-1983