Public Testimony at the Public Design Commission Hearing on the Coney Island Boardwalk, March 12, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr
If you’re in ATZ’s address book, chances are you received the following email from us yesterday or today. Please copy it and share it widely. You can help save the Boardwalk for future gens by signing the petition!
City Council members Mark Treyger and Chaim Deutsch, whose districts include the Coney Island-Brighton Beach Boardwalk, have just launched a public petition calling for the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate the boardwalk a “Scenic Landmark.” Please help their efforts by signing this petition at Change.org and sharing with your friends. It could be our last chance to stop the Boardwalk from becoming the Concretewalk.
If you do not wish your name to appear publicly simply uncheck the box beneath the red “Sign” tab before you click it.
Link to petition: https://www.change.org/p/nyc-landmarks-preservation-commission-designate-historic-riegelmann-boardwalk-as-scenic-landmark
Children Walking on Boardwalk Under Construction, November 29, 1922. Photo by E.E. Rutter via NYC Dept of Records, Municipal Archives
“There is no question that the historic Riegelmann Boardwalk is one of the most iconic and beloved structures in our entire city and clearly merits this designation,” said Councilman Treyger. “I have already heard from dozens of New Yorkers who are shocked this isn’t already the case and wanted to share their personal stories of what the boardwalk means to them and their families. This is an important piece of New York City history and we must act now before it is drastically changed and lost forever. I am asking anyone who has ever visited the Riegelmann Boardwalk or cares about preserving our history to join our effort.”
“The Coney Island Boardwalk is a Brooklyn icon that possesses significant value, attracting visitors since 1923. In an effort to prevent any compromise of the historic design, I urge the Landmark Preservation Commission to grant landmark status to the boardwalk,” said Councilman Deutsch.
The Boardwalk opened in 1923 and was already undergoing renovation in 1934: Group of men ripping up old planking on Coney Island boardwalk near Half Moon Hotel. Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, who represents New York’s 8th congressional district in Brooklyn and Queens, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams also spoke in support of the designation.
“The famed Coney Island Boardwalk has been an important part of the social, cultural and economic fabric of our City for generations. The effort by Councilman Treyger to secure scenic landmark designation for the boardwalk will help preserve this Brooklyn icon for future New Yorkers to enjoy and experience, and I look forward to working with him to make it a reality,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.
“The Riegelmann Boardwalk is imprinted with over 90 years of history, helping to establish Coney Island as America’s playground,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who is co-sponsoring a New Year’s Eve celebration including an LED light show and fireworks, at Coney’s Parachute Jump, which he plans to make an annual tradition.
“Millions of visitors have made the pilgrimage to southern Brooklyn, and we want to see millions more enjoy its unique, iconic character in the decades to come,” said the Borough President. “I support a scenic landmark designation for the Riegelmann Boardwalk because I believe it is in the best interest of Brooklyn’s cultural and economic well-being. I look forward to working with my elected colleagues and local stakeholders to advance this proposal.”
Section of Boardwalk in amusement area under repair, Coney Island. March 13, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita
During the Council members first year in office they listened to constituents complaints about the already conpleted concrete sections of the boardwalk and tried to get the City to agree to a moratorium until further environmental studies could be done. However, Daniel Zarrilli, head of the Office of Recovery and Resiliency, a holdover from the Bloomberg administration, told the City Council in June: “The use of concrete in boardwalks is not going to change at this point, is a sound decision and that stands,” according to the New York Daily News.
Section of Coney Island Concretewalk at West 36th Street near Sea Gate. June 22, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr
The petition will be submitted to the Mayor’s office and the LPC as part of the councilmen’s argument for designating the 2.7-mile boardwalk along the Brighton Beach and Coney Island waterfront as a Scenic Landmark. Among New York City’s official Scenic Landmarks are Central Park, Fort Tryon Park, Prospect Park, Eastern Parkway and Ocean Parkway.
“For nearly a century, Coney Island’s wooden boardwalk has provided the public with a rustic observation platform, a cool, soft, raised promenade that captures ocean breezes and affords a respite from New York City’s hard concrete jungle,” said Coney Island History Project director Charles Denson. “Much like the unfortunate destruction of Penn Station before it could be landmarked, the ‘concrete solution’ to the Boardwalk’s maintenance problems is shortsighted and ill advised. This historic structure must be protected and preserved.”
Riegelmann Boardwalk Sign at Stillwell Avenue, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita
Related posts on ATZ…
December 8, 2014: City Councilman’s Proposal to Landmark the Boardwalk Could Halt Concretewalk
March 22, 2012: The Coney Island-Brighton Beach Concretewalk Blues
March 9, 2012: The 10 People Who Will Decide the Fate of Coney Island Boardwalk
December 27, 2010: Photo of the Day: First Snow on Coney Island Boardwalk
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