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New York City’s Grand Central Terminal is known around the world for being the largest commuter station in the world. It’s 47 platforms, 67 tracks, and dozens of shopping and dining options leave many to wonder if Grand Central is a train station, a mall, or both. As crazy as it sounds, Grand Central Terminal hosts events as well. Each January, people from around the world descend upon the terminal for The Grand Central International Squash Tournament.


But what is squash?

In this context, squash it not a vegetable, but an indoor sport. In a way sort of similar to tennis and volleyball, the goal of squash is to make a small rubber ball bounce twice on the floor before the opponent is able to return it. Not only can squash be played by two people, but it can be played by four, six or even eight. Although tennis and volleyball is played on an open court with out-of-bounds lines, squash, however, is played in a completely enclosed room or glass court with no boundary lines.

As with any sport, there is often an international championship to determine who is truly the best player in the sport. The Tournament of Champions, sponsored by banking and financial services company J.P. Morgan, is the culmination of this. Since 1930, the United States held its own national championship, however, the competition was opened internationally in late 1970s. The tournament has been held in a handful of cities around the U.S., however, many people always associated the tournament with Grand Central Terminal. From that point forward, The Tournament of Champions became synonymous with the terminal, and the competitions home base permanently became the terminal.


So where does Upbeat Designs come in?

As a custom design, upholstery, and millwork service in Brooklyn, we take on special projects from vendors in the New York City metropolitan area — this includes interior designers, architects, restaurants, and event venues. Considering Grand Central Terminal isn’t exactly an event venue, Upbeat Designs was enlisted to help turn the space from a commuter station to an event venue worthy of an international championship.

To date, The Grand Central Squash Tournament, along with Bond Collective’s the Mezzanine, remains among one of Upbeat Design’s most notable commercial real estate projects.

Sim Fern is the founder of Upbeat Designs, a Brooklyn-based provider of custom furniture, upholstery, and millwork services for luxury residential and commercial spaces. Sim has always had a passion for furniture, as he’s been working in the business since he was a teenager. What started out as a side job turned into a career for Sim — he’s now transitioned from small projects for homeowners to a wide range of clientele with Upbeat Designs. You can connect with Sim Fern online.