Tennis: Ad In

For all Manhattan Real Estate Broker William J. Hirschman knew, the two men might have been planning to hijack an airliner, breed whales or launch an armada. Otherwise, why would they want a building with at least 50,000 sq. ft. of floors, 40-ft.-high ceilings, and no interior columns? As it turned out, Ben Lieberman and Luke Sapan were neither subversives nor quacks, but high-powered businessmen with an abiding fondness for tennis and the determination to turn it from a strictly seasonal sport into a year-round affair.

The answer seemed obvious, but until recently, indoor courts in the U.S. were as...

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