Charles Kasper Tennis Courts
What was here before?
This property was once the grounds of the Staten Island Cricket and Tennis Club, founded in 1872 as the Cricket and Baseball Club. Originally established in St. George, the club relocated to this site in 1885.
How did this site become a park?
The Cricket Club grounds were sold to the Staten Island Academy in 1925, and then purchased by the City in 1930. The property was transferred to NYC Parks the following year and named Livingston Park. Walker Park opened in August 1932 with tennis courts, playground facilities and a clubhouse which burned down in 1932 and was replaced in 1934 by the current Tudor-style structure.
The park was renamed in 1934 to honor Lieutenant Randolph Walker Jr., a distinguished member of the local cricket club who died in World War I.
Who are these tennis courts named for?
These tennis courts honor Charles Kasper (1946 - 2001), Fire Department of New York’s Deputy Chief of Manhattan’s Special Operations Command and a first responder on September 11, 2001.
After earning a business degree from Long Island University, Kasper worked as a History and English teacher and basketball coach in his native Brooklyn from 1968 to 1973. He married his wife Laureen and his growing family moved to West Brighton. At this time, he changed professions to become a firefighter.
He served as chief of Battalion 23 in Great Kills and Battalion 21 in Rosebank before moving to the Special Operations Command in Manhattan. In 1993, he responded to the World Trade Center bombing as a member of Manhattan's Rescue Co. 1.
On September 11, 2001, the 28-year-veteran was home with his family when he heard about the World Trade Center attacks. Kasper sped to the Towers in a spare fire engine parked near his Staten Island home. He was last seen directing Fire Operations in the North Tower.
A dedicated resident of West Brighton, Charles Kasper and his wife were well known at these courts. They participated in the Walker Park Mixed Doubles for several years. The naming of these tennis courts is a lasting reminder of a devoted family man and one of Staten Island’s bravest.