On Sunday afternoon, Coney Island photographer Bruce Handy captured this gorgeous image of the last pinwheel and crescent moon of Luna Park’s new Boardwalk gate being lifted into place. The gate takes its inspiration from the one on Surf Avenue, which was built three years ago and pays homage to the original Luna Park’s 1903 gate. The smaller, more delicate boardwalk entryway boasts the additional flourish of golden pennants and promises a brighter, more dazzling summer in Coney Island.
Do you notice anything else different in the photo below?
The cars will be put back up on Deno’s Wonder Wheel in plenty of time for March 24th’s Opening Day — the cars are taken down during the off-season for maintenance. What’s different in the photo is the appearance of the Astro Tower. Earlier this month, the cab was removed from the Tower, which has been standing but not operating since 2008. Word on the Boardwalk is the former ride will be painted and illuminated. Ever since Luna Park was built on the Astroland site in April 2010, there’s been talk of Zamperla re-purposing the Tower as signage or possibly restoring it as a ride. Since nothing was done, the 270-foot observation tower got rusty and began to look like a neglected orphan amid the glittering new rides on the skyline. Last September, after the Tower was relit for the first time since Astroland closed, Luna Park confirmed via their Facebook page that it “will provide Coney Island with a spectacular, night-time extravaganza,” but will not be reactivated as a ride.
UPDATE 3:00 pm
We’d heard rumors that the Astro Tower’s cab, also known as “The Bagel in Sky,” had been damaged by Sandy. Turns out to have been true. Luna Park just emailed us the following update: “Coney Island’s Astrotower suffered structural damage during Super Storm Sandy. The restoration process of the Tower is underway, with affected parts, including the gondola, having been removed to ensure its stability and safety. Part of the tower’s rehabilitation will include a new, energy-efficient lighting package that will be programmable to match other lighting installations at Luna Park.”
Related posts on ATZ…
September 28, 2012: Astrotower Lit for 1st Time Since Astroland Closed in 2008
July 8, 2012: Video of the Day: Coney Island Lights by Jim McDonnell