Save Coney Island

by Naomi Young

These are critical times for Coney Island. This summer, “The People’s Playground” saw the opening of its first new amusement park in thirty years, Luna Park– signaling the start of a fragile recovery. However, a compromised rezoning plan and rampant land speculation still pose a threat to the area’s vitality.

Private developer Thor Equities has announced plans to demolish several of Coney Island’s few remaining historic structures. These buildings — which include a dance hall where luminaries such as Al Jolson and the Marx Brothers performed, as well as Coney’s oldest remaining building — form a crucial part of a historic district that the New York State Historic Preservation Office has determined eligible for inclusion in the National Register.

Save Coney Island, a volunteer, non-profit organization committed to restoring Coney Island as a world-class amusement destination, believes that the preservation and reuse of Coney Island’s historic buildings is essential to its successful redevelopment, because they maintain a visible connection to Coney’s illustrious past.

To raise awareness about this urgent situation, Save Coney Island will be offering free walking tours every Sunday at 11:00 a.m. through the end of September. The guided tour will cover all the historic buildings along Surf Avenue, as well as some of Coney’s existing landmarks. We will have historic photos on hand, and some renderings illustrating how these buildings could be creatively restored and reused.

Meet on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Aves, in front of the Shore Theater
Every Sunday at 11:00 a.m. through the end of September
FREE! (but suggested donation of $10 appreciated)
All attendees will receive a free Save Coney Island button and a copy of our brand new Save Coney Island map!

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