Image: Shinya Suzuki via Flickr
After repeatedly declining to protect the celebrated walkway–even as its wooden planks become increasingly replaced with concrete and plastic as a result of Superstorm Sandy repairs–the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has agreed to add the historic Coney Island Boardwalk to the agency’s list of properties to consider for protected status, according to remarks made at a LPC hearing Thursday, Crain’s reports. LPC chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said the boardwalk–its official name is the Riegelmann Boardwalk–could be protected as early as this spring or summer.
It could happen in time for summer
Rendering of Coney Island North Venture via The Prusik Group
It’s slated to be a big year for Coney Island–and not just when it comes to new rides and attractions. A massive development will join the growing redevelopment of the beachfront locale, which will be home to at least four major projects totaling 2,151 units in the coming years. According to CityRealty, Taconic Investment Partners and The Prusik Group are planning to build a ground-up, mixed-use complex tentatively referred to as “Coney Island North Venture.” It’ll be comprised of 1,000 apartments, 80,000 square feet of office space, and 150,000 square feet of retail along Surf Avenue. The complex will join a new 42-story tower, plus a 440-unit development that will boast its very own trolley.
All the development details
Deno’s Wonder Wheel courtesy of kzoop’s Flickr
Editor’s Note: Due to the extreme cold conditions, Deno’s Wonder Wheel and Stop the Zombies ride will NOT open on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. The B&B Carousell will be open.
Overpriced clubs, surging Ubers, and Manhattan crowds not your thing? Check out the fourth annual New Year’s Eve party at Coney Island’s historic boardwalk instead. Four rides, including the iconic Wonder Wheel, will be free of charge beginning at 6 pm until 9:30 pm on December 31. Nathan’s Famous, Coney Island Brewery, and Tom’s Restaurant will also stay open for the festivities. As amNY learned, there will be live entertainment and the countdown to 2018 will feature a digital “burst” of lights from the Parachute jump at midnight.
Details on the event here
, Mon, September 11, 2017
A rendering of Ocean Dreams from January via Dattner Architects
As part of his “Ocean Dreams” development in Coney Island, billionaire real estate mogul John Catsimatidis plans to build a streetcar that would link the mixed-use project to the Stillwell Avenue subway station in Coney Island. Developed by Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Group, the project at 3514 Surf Avenue includes three buildings between West 36th and West 37th Streets that will feature retail space, 440 market-rate apartments and a 254-car garage. As the Coney Island News first reported, Catsimatidis said the streetcar would be available to everyone, not just residents of his development.
Find out more
Photo of Trump Village West via Trump 4 West
Built by Donald Trump’s father, Fred, in 1964, Trump Village in Coney Island features seven 23-story towers with 3,700 co-op and rental apartments. To pay for the $70 million project, which would total $564 million today, Fred Trump used Mitchell-Lama, a government program that granted financial incentives in exchange for setting aside affordable housing. The typical rental contract lasts 20 years, and after that, landlords can opt-out of the program. As Crain’s reported, Trump Village became one of the first co-ops to exit the Mitchell-Lama program in 2007, letting residents sell their apartments for whatever the market allowed. Owners of 38,000 Mitchell-Lama apartments, representing 28% of the program’s housing, have left in the past 20 years. But as the value of these apartments, which were once affordable, keeps rising, New Yorkers looking for affordable housing there, and other former Mitchell-Lama apartments, may be out of luck.
Find out more
Deno’s Wonder Wheel courtesy of kzoop’s Flickr
While New Yorkers have been celebrating the historic seaside resort all summer long, this weekend the Coney Island History Project is hosting its seventh annual history day. On Saturday, August 5, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., attendees can learn about all of the classic rides and attractions of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, take a self-guided tour, and listen to free folksy music. Since it was built in 1920, more than 40 million people have experienced the park’s iconic Wonder Wheel.
On June 26, 1927 the Coney Island Cyclone opened in Brooklyn. The iconic wooden coaster, located on the corner of Surf Avenue and West 10th Street, is one of the oldest functional amusement rides in the United States. While it only cost $.25 to ride when it first opened, today it costs about $10. Found at Luna Park, the coaster takes you over 2,640 feet of track at 60 miles per hour, with 12 drops (the highest an 85-foot, 60-degree plunge) and 27 elevation changes in roughly two minutes.
See a historic video of the coaster in action
On this day in 1884, the country’s first roller coaster opened at Coney Island, sparking Americans’ obsession with amusement rides. Invented by LaMarcus Thompson, the ride, called the Switchback Railway, spanned 600 feet and traveled just six miles per hour. Unlike today’s coasters, the Switchback did not make a round trip loop, and passengers exited at the end of the track. The one-minute long ride cost only five cents.
Get the whole history
Born and raised in Coney Island, there was never a photographer better primed to capture the neighborhood’s vibrancy than Harold Feinstein. “I like to think I fell out of the womb on to the fun park’s giant Parachute Jump while eating a Nathan’s hot dog,” he told The Guardian in 2014, just before his passing in 2015. Indeed, Feinstein would take his first photo (using a Rolleiflex borrowed from a neighbor) at age 15 in 1946, beginning what would become an unwavering love affair with documenting the whizz, whirl and insatiable life that permeated his beachside locale. Although Feinstein would eventually move on to other subjects in various parts of New York City and the globe, over his nearly 70-year career he would always return to Coney Island for inspiration. “Coney Island was my Treasure Island,” he said.
Feinstein’s Coney Island photos cover more than five decades, but ultimately his 1940s and 1950s snapshots–those taken when he was just a teenager–would cement his status as one of the most important photographers recording life in post-war America. Ahead, the Harold Feinstein Photography Trust shares highlights from this collection.
see the photos here
Photo via NYCEDC
It’s been more than 60 years since Childs Restaurant left its historic home on the Coney Island boardwalk, but on Sunday the landmarked building will reopen as a massive new food and beverage concept called Kitchen 21 (h/t Eater). The formerly vacant and deteriorating space was redeveloped through a $60 million joint investment among the NYC Economic Development Corporation, Legends Hospitality (who run the dining programs at One World Trade Center and Yankee Stadium), and Cravable Hospitality Group (of David Burke Kitchen). It will hold five separate restaurants, all peddling “summer-friendly fare”: casual take-out spot Coney Island Café; beer and seafood spot Community Clam Bar; gastropub Parachute Bar; rooftop wine bar Boardwalk & Vine; and a more formal restaurant called Test Kitchen.
All the details ahead