Never-Built Coney Island Globe Tower Would Have Been a Massive Boardwalk in the Air

Posted On Tue, September 15, 2015 By

Posted On Tue, September 15, 2015 By In Coney Island, History

In 1906, architect Samuel Friede announced his plans to build the Coney Island Globe Tower, a 700-foot-tall, 11-story structure that would have contained the Brooklyn neighborhood’s attractions in one giant globe in the air. A New York Tribune cover revealing the project said investors were being offered “a ground floor chance to share profits in the largest steel structure ever erected…the greatest amusement enterprise in the whole world…the best real estate venture.”

Had the $1,500,000 plan gone through, the whimsical structure (part Unisphere, part Eiffel Tower) would have contained restaurants (one of which would rotate), an observatory, the United States Weather Observation Bureau and Wireless Telegraph Station, a vaudeville theater, the world’s largest ballroom, bowling alley, roller skating rink, casinos, 50,000-room hotel, 5,000-seat hippodrome, and a four large circus rings.

Coney Island Globe Tower, never-built NYC, Coney Island history, Samuel Friede

Friede planned the tower for the corner of the Steeplechase on Surf Avenue, and he even went so far as to lease the lot. He envisioned a parking garage and subway/railroad station for underneath it. There also would have been a direct connection to the ocean for boats. The giant globe was to be supported by eight pedestals that had a 35-foot foundation. The first story would start 150 feet in the air and each floor would be spaced 50 feet with amenities getting increasingly elegant and high-class the higher up one went. At its apex would be the world’s largest revolving searchlight.

Believe it or not, there was a cornerstone laying ceremony on May 26, 1906 that featured speeches, concerts, and fireworks. Investors quickly rushed in, but when the foundations still were incomplete at the end of the summer, they became nervous. Despite their fears, another exuberant ceremony took place on February 17, 1907 to mark the first piece of steel going into position. According to Jeffrey Stanton, “The company claimed they were driving 800 concrete foundation piles, each 30 feet long and five feet in circumference. They promised that half of the eleven floor structure would be open to the public on May 15th and the remainder would be fully operational the following year.” But in March, George Tilyou, creator and owner of the Steeplechase, threatened an injunction. It was stopped by a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge, but by 1908 the veil was lifted on perhaps the largest architectural fraud, and Tilyou was tasked with removing the 30 foundation piles from his property.

RELATED:

Tags : ,

Neighborhoods : Coney Island

MOST RECENT ARTICLES

  • Brooklyn cheesemongers to open their underground 1850s brewery tunnels for one night

    Brooklyn cheesemongers to open their underground 1850s brewery tunnels for one night

    Thirty feet below street level, Benton Brown and Susan Boyle of Crown Finish Caves age their deliciously moldy wares in ...
  • Explore historic LGBT sites in NYC with this interactive map

    Explore historic LGBT sites in NYC with this interactive map

    To broaden people’s knowledge of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community’s history in New York City, the NYC LGBT ...
  • ‘Cash Cab’ will return later this year; Paul Manafort’s shady NYC real estate dealings

    ‘Cash Cab’ will return later this year; Paul Manafort’s shady NYC real estate dealings

    New York-based designer (and 13-year U.S. citizen) Karim Rashid said he had a “crazy journey” getting by US Border Control at JFK. ...
  • ‘Fearless Girl’ statue will remain on Wall Street for another year, but officials say that’s not enough

    ‘Fearless Girl’ statue will remain on Wall Street for another year, but officials say that’s not enough

    Image via Metro / Getty The drumbeat for making the statue of Fearless Girl a permanent fixture in Lower Manhattan ...
  • Investor flips Trump’s childhood home for double what he paid, likely selling to Chinese buyer

    Investor flips Trump’s childhood home for double what he paid, likely selling to Chinese buyer

    When Manhattan real estate mogul Michael Davis bought Donald Trump’s childhood home sight-unseen for just under $1.4 million in December, he ...
  • ‘Narnia’ apartment in Park Slope has a hidden door and built-in swing

    ‘Narnia’ apartment in Park Slope has a hidden door and built-in swing

    The listing calls this apartment a “gateway to a modern version of Narnia”–and it’s hard not to agree. A designer ...
  • 15 indoor air-purifying plants for your apartment or home

    15 indoor air-purifying plants for your apartment or home

    Our ongoing series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big ...
  • Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel are bringing sexy back to Tribeca with new penthouse buy

    Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel are bringing sexy back to Tribeca with new penthouse buy

    Although Justin Timberlake was spotted scoping out an $18.5 million Greenwich Village penthouse last month, he chose Tribeca to call home ...
  • First look at the interiors of Waterline Square’s trio of towers

    First look at the interiors of Waterline Square’s trio of towers

    As 6sqft reported in November, a trio of glassy residential towers is rising on the five-acre waterfront site between West 59th and ...
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Fallingwater lookalike asks $3.5M in Greenwich, CT

    Frank Lloyd Wright Fallingwater lookalike asks $3.5M in Greenwich, CT

    Designed by local architect Dimitri Bulazel, this 4,675-square-foot four-bedroom home at 51 Pecksland Road in Greenwich, CT was clearly inspired by Frank ...
  • Elegant co-op in an UES mansion still has its original leaded casement windows

    Elegant co-op in an UES mansion still has its original leaded casement windows

    This two-bedroom co-op occupies the parlor and garden floors of 4 East 82nd Street, a stately Carnegie Hill mansion. Despite ...
  • Kickstarter campaign raising $10,000 for a 15-foot inflatable ‘Trumpy’ rat

    Kickstarter campaign raising $10,000 for a 15-foot inflatable ‘Trumpy’ rat

    As a symbol of resistance to the Trump administration, Chelsea-based contemporary art gallery BravinLee created a Kickstarter to raise $10,000 ...

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS

Thank you, your sign-up request was successful!
This email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.