Kossover Tennis Center

By the late 1970’s Hughes Tennis Courts at 8th and Orleans had been the heart of Topeka Tennis for over 40 years racking up a rich history of high level tennis including hosting legendary players like Butch Bucholz, Chuck McKinley, Jimmy Connors, and numerous college champions from the Pac 8, Big 8, Big 10, Mo Valley and more. Hughes had been the tennis home and training ground to well over 40 collegiate players and state HS Champions. The 12 clay courts of the 40’s and 50’s had given way to 14 laykold hard-courts of the 60’s and 70’s. But by 1978 there were some chinks in the armor: parking was a nightmare for players and neighbors alike; and there was a pesky underground stream that caused the ground to move and the courts to crack over and over. So when land became available on the VA Grounds for tennis courts south of the new softball diamonds, the Topeka Tennis Association agreed it was time to look into supporting the project.

The word was: there’s some federal grant money available for tennis courts (in response to the national “tennis boom”). So a committee was formed to study the options. A federal grant application followed, and its  approval gave the Topeka Recreation Dept the dollars to break ground. In the beginning plans were drawn up for 18 courts, a clubhouse, and lights. However, the TTA committee believed the construction of the courts would not be heavy-duty enough. So the decision was made to build 9 courts the “right way” and spend the grant dollars accordingly.

In 1980 the Winter Park Tennis Courts opened for play.  In 1985 the courts were renamed Kossover Tennis Center in honor of long-time tennis advocate , Harold Kossover. The current clubhouse was built in 1987, and  in 1995 tournament level lighting was added thru a public / private fundraising effort. In 2006, again with a great financial assist from the Topeka Tennis Community, the “Finish the Dream” campaign ended with 9 new courts including a Center Court dedicated in memory of tennis advocate, Karen Harkness. Now that the dream of 18 courts, lighted play, and a 2022 renovated clubhouse is finished, Topeka has one of the best tennis facilities in the Midwest and a tennis home to be proud of.