Coney Island’s new pedestrian plaza on the Boardwalk end of West 12th Street was named “Dreamland Plaza” after Facebook fans voted it to the top of a trio of names offered by the Alliance of Coney Island. Dreamland Park, which was where the Aquarium is now, burned down in 1911 and there are no permanent mementos of the park in Coney Island. On Saturday, the plaza will host History Day, its inaugural special event, featuring free entertainment by organ grinders, musicians and magicians from 1pm. The event is sponsored by Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park and the Coney Island History Project, which are located on 12th Street. While the new plaza’s umbrellas have yet to arrive, we already see echoes of what it might look like in the future in this circa 1905 photo of Dreamland’s Cafe and Outdoor Vaudeville. Now if only they’d rebuild the Dreamland Tower!
UPDATE August 9, 2013:
In response to comments from readers about speeding cars on 12th St and that the plaza looks “underwhelming,” we feel compelled to post photos from 2012 that show it is already an improvement. These photos are just a few of many that we took showing cars making dangerous U-Turns at the Boardwalk end of the street on weekends last season. Although the street is “No Standing,” the number of cars coming here looking for parking spaces was horrific. Since the plaza was built, the traffic has lessened but has not stopped completely. Closing the street on weekends except for local deliveries would be a good idea.
As for the plaza itself, comparisons to Times Square by the mainstream media are off the mark. It provides much-needed additional seating for visitors, who we frequently see sitting on the curb or even on the sidewalk eating Nathan’s hot dogs! More seating as well as umbrellas are expected to be part of the plaza, which is only a few weeks old.
Related posts on ATZ…
July 11, 2013: Photo of the Day: Solar Charging Station in Coney Island
May 24, 2013: Photo Album: B&B Carousell’s Showy Letters Go Up
March 11, 2013: Luna Park’s Pinwheels Go Up on Coney Island Boardwalk