One of the Country's Finest Sports Museums
The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, housed in the historic Newport Casino, is an uncommon example of sporting excellence. The entire history of the sport, dating from the 12th Century through today, is chronicled within its 18 galleries. The Museum encompasses more than 20,000 square feet of interactive exhibits, momentous videos and popular memorabilia of tennis champions past and present. The Museum’s permanent collection alone contains more than 16,000 objects. The Library and Information Research Center has upwards of 5,000 books; in excess of 4,000 tapes and films; more than 300,000 photo images, and an abundant collection of magazines, programs, periodicals, posters, and personal player memorabilia.
American tournament tennis began in 1881 when the first U.S. National Lawn Tennis Championships were hosted in Newport, Rhode Island on the grass courts that are now home to the Internatioanl Tennis Hall of Fame. This tournament, which evolved into today’s US Open, was played at the Casino until 1915, when it moved to Forest Hills, New York. However, Newport’s historic tennis tradition continues each summer when the Hall of Fame presents the only professional tennis tournament played on grass in the United States. The Hall of Fame is truly distinguished from other sports museums because tennis is still played on the grounds where virtually every historic champion has graced its beautiful grass courts.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum was established in 1954 (originally known as the National Lawn Tennis Hall of Fame) and was sanctioned by the United States Tennis Association (known then as the USLTA). Only Americans were inducted until 1975, when the field was opened to include members from other countries. In 1986, the International Tennis Hall of Fame was recognized as the official Hall of Fame by the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis.
Key Dates in our History
- September 13, 1954 - National Lawn Tennis Hall of Fame was founded and officially sanctioned by the United States Lawn Tennis Association (now the USTA).
- July 9, 1955 – The first official Tennis Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held.
- 1975 - With the growth of tennis internationally, it was determined that players from other countries should be eligible for Hall of Fame induction. That year, Fred Perry of England was the first individual outside of the United States to be inducted.
- April 13, 1976 - The National Lawn Tennis Hall of Fame and Tennis Museum was renamed the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Tennis Museum (announced by Jimmy Van Alen, Founder of the Hall of Fame)
- 1986 - Hall of Fame was officially recognized by the International Tennis Federation
- 1987 - Newport Casino designated a National Historic Landmark
- 1997 - Completion of a 5-year, $6 million dollar renovation project
- 1998 - Fire damages the Museum; specifically the USTA Wing and Grand Slam Galleries suffer extensive water damage
- 1999 - Museum officially reopens in March; Fire damage/renovation completed
- 2000 - Hall of Fame Information Research Center opens
- 2004 - 50th Anniversary Celebration of the International Tennis Hall of Fame
- 2009 - Restoration begins on the Stanford White Casino Theatre, a theatre located within the Newport Casino grounds.