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Posts Tagged ‘Sandy’

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath in Coney Island

Steeplechase Pier, Coney Island. October 30, 2012. Photo © Jim McDonnell

It’s still painful to look at photos taken in the days after Sandy. On the one year anniversary, from the many photos posted on ATZ over the past year, we’re highlighting four public amenities and amusement park icons in Coney Island which were ravaged by the storm. The four were not only rebuilt but have also undergone a dramatic transformation from the way they looked before Sandy. On October 30, 2012, photographer Jim McDonnell took the first photos that we saw of damage in Coney’s amusement area, including the heartbreaking photograph above of Steeplechase Pier. The 1,040-foot-pier, a popular spot for strolling, sunbathing, fishing and watching the fireworks, finally reopened on October 2nd after several months of reconstruction by T.B. Penick and Triton Structural.

Steeplechase Pier

Coney Island’s Reconstructed Steeplechase Pier. October 2, 2013. Photo © Charles Denson, Coney Island History Project via flickr

The sleek new pier, as photographed by Charles Denson of the Coney Island History Project, is light years ahead of the pier that preceded it. Originally built by George Tilyou in 1904 as part of his Steeplechase Park, the pier was later acquired by the City of New York City and had to be rebuilt in the late 1950s after a fire.

A waved-shaped communal lounger and benches made from reclaimed ipe from the pier’s old decking are among the new amenities. There’s also a shade structure with letters spelling out CONEY ISLAND that cast an elegant shadow. LTL Architects redesign for the reconstruction of the pier won Special Recognition at the 31st Annual Awards for Excellence in Design by the New York City Design Commission.

Coney Island Library

Coney Island Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library on Mermaid Avenue. February 22, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Nearly a year after being wrecked by Sandy, the Coney Island Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library reopened on October 23rd after a $2.5 million rebuilding effort. The interior has been completely transformed by Beatty Harvey Coco Architects, a firm which specializes in libraries. Huge photos of Coney Island’s landmark Wonder Wheel, Cyclone and Parachute Jump decorate the walls. Photos of the redesigned library, including new furniture, computer stations and meeting rooms can be seen in “Photo Album: Coney Island Library’s Comeback from Sandy,” (ATZ, October 24, 2013)

Coney Island Library

Coney Island Library Reopened on October 23 nearly a year after Sandy. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

The venerable, circa 1923 “Grandma’s Predictions” has been telling fortunes under Coney Island’s 1920 Wonder Wheel all her life. Her inner workings were destroyed by floodwater from Sandy. Grandma, an irreplaceable antique as well as a good luck charm for the Vourderis family who own Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, was taken to arcade restorer Bob Yorburg’s studio in Putnam County for some TLC.

Grandma's Predictions

Grandma’s Predictions after Sandy, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, Coney Island. November 10, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

The rare fortunetelling machine got eye surgery as well as a new wig, dress and wax hands cast from the original mold. A fine new cabinet was hand-crafted based on the design of one from the 1920s. Her motto “What does Grandma Say?”was hand-lettered in gold leaf. Grandma returned to her spot under the Wonder Wheel on Mother’s Day. Get your fortune told — only 50 cents!

Grandma's Predictions

Grandma’s Predictions, newly restored 90-year-old fortunetelling machine under the Wonder Wheel in Coney Island. May 12, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

One of the casualties of Sandy in Coney Island’s amusement area was Denny’s Ice Cream, established in 1978 and owned by Coney Island USA. The nonprofit arts organization bought Dennis Corines’ building next door to CIUSA’s headquarters in 2011 for $1.3 million with the idea of eventually expanding their arts space. In the meantime, they kept the beloved ice cream shop open, serving banana pistachio cones and other popular treats until the store fixtures were destroyed by Sandy. Since the building had to be gutted, the future renovations had to happen in time for the 2013 season. What to do?

Denny's Ice Cream

Coney Island Post-Sandy: Interior Demolition of Storm-Ravaged Denny’s Ice Cream, Surf Avenue. November 17, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr. November 17, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

The idea of installing and restoring this 1940s Mangels shooting gallery on loan from Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park came up when it had to be moved during the park’s renovations after the storm. The gallery was manufactured in Coney Island by William F. Mangels, the inventor of such early 20th century thrill rides as the Whip and the Tickler, and the builder of the mechanism for the B & B Carousell. Intact Mangels shooting galleries are exceptionally rare since most were long ago sold for scrap metal or broken up by antique dealers who sell the targets individually to collectors. The Shooting Gallery’s Arts Annex hosts sideshow performances and this year’s Creep Show at the Freak Show, which continues through October 31.

Mangels Shooting Gallery

1940s Mangels Shooting Gallery, Coney Island USA. August 3, 2013.Photo © Tricia Vita

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May 16, 2013: Shooting Gallery Revival in Post-Sandy Coney Island

March 5, 2013: Coney Island’s Mermaid Avenue Four Months After Sandy

November 21, 2012: Coney Island Post-Sandy: Flooded Spook-A-Rama to Get New Stunts

October 31, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island

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Coney Island Library

Brooklyn Public Library Coney Island Branch Library on Mermaid Avenue. October 23, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

The Coney Island Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library reopened on Wednesday for the first time since it was severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy almost a year ago. The lobby and interior have been decorated with photos of Coney Island’s landmark Wonder Wheel, Cyclone and Parachute Jump from the library’s Brooklyn collection. The Jump itself is just down the block and can be seen from the Mermaid Avenue library’s plate-glass windows.

Coney Island Library

Vintage photos of Coney Island’s landmark rides adorn the walls of the Coney Island Library. October 23, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

A few weeks after Sandy, the Daily News reported that five Brooklyn libraries wrecked by Sandy would require $10 million in repairs with the Coney Island location being one of the most seriously damaged. 35,177 books and DVDs were lost. The photos were horrific. Built in 1956, the library not only has new books and DVDs, it was beautifully redesigned to reflect the history of the neighborhood and meet the 21st century needs of the community.

Coney Island Library

Computer stations, comfy chairs, and the Parachute Jump. October 23, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

The children’s books and the computers, which used to be on the second floor, are now located on the main floor. The new computer stations, comfy reading chairs, and kid-sized tables equipped with iPads were already popular on opening day. The second floor is now designated “the quiet room” for studying and its auditorium has been replaced by two meeting rooms on the first floor.

Coney Island Library

Recycled boards from the Boardwalk on the ceiling at the Coney Island Library. October 23, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

Recycled boards from the Coney Island Boardwalk are incorporated into the design of the ceiling. The $2.5 million rebuilding effort was supported by public and private funding. You can make a contribution to the Coney Island Library on the Brooklyn Public Library’s website. Make sure to select “Additional Options – I would like to direct my donation to Coney Island.”

Coney Island Library

Children using Coney Island Library’s new iPads. October 23, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita


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October 2, 2013: Photo Album: Coney’s Rebuilt Steeplechase Pier Opened Today

September 25, 2013: Clock Ticking on Plan for the Landmark Childs Building

March 14, 2013: Photo of the Day: Repairing Sandy-Damaged Steeplechase Pier

October 31, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island

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Steeplechase Pier

Workers at Coney Island’s Sandy-damaged Steeplechase Pier, September 28, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Over the weekend, word on the Boardwalk was that Steeplechase Pier, which has been under reconstruction since March due to damage sustained during Superstorm Sandy, would reopen on Tuesday. Work is almost complete and will be finished this week, according to the workers who were heading off the pier.

ATZ checked with the Parks Department today and the pier will indeed reopen sometime in October, though not on October 1st. The pier will need to be inspected first, a Parks Department official told ATZ. The 1,000-foot-pier is a popular spot for fishermen as well as for photographers, who were already making plans to return to their favorite spot tomorrow and will now have to wait a little bit longer. The pier had to be completely reconstructed post-Sandy and was originally expected to be finished by July.

Update: The pier reopened on Wednesday, October 2nd. Here are the first photos!

Steeplechase Pier

Work is Nearly Complete on Coney Island’s Sandy-damaged Steeplechase Pier, September 28, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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April 14, 2013: Photo Update: Sunken Barge at Steeplechase Pier in Coney Island

March 14, 2013: Photo of the Day: Repairing Sandy-Damaged Steeplechase Pier

October 31, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island

August 24, 2010: Video: Coney Island Pier Divers by Kevin C Downs

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Coastal Research Amphibious Buggy (CRAB)

Coastal Research Amphibious Buggy (CRAB) on Coney Island Beach. September 22, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

It was a gorgeous Sunday for walking on the Coney Island Boardwalk but what in the world was that tripod-like vehicle on the beach? We knew it had something to do with the US Army Corps of Engineers Post-Sandy Beach Replenishment Project currently underway, so we phoned their Public Affairs Department. Press Officer Chris Gardner says it is a CRAB aka Coastal Research Amphibious Buggy. This unique 18,000 lb. vehicle has a top speed of 2 mph on land and somewhat less in the water. Power is supplied by a 53-hp Volkswagen engine on the deck which drives a hydraulic pump. In the photo below that Gardner took on Friday, the CRAB is surveying a profile of the beach. You can see more photos from the set here.

Coastal Research Amphibious Buggy (CRAB)

A Coastal Research Amphibious Buggy (CRAB) heads into the water by the Steeplechase Pier at Coney Island to gather data on the beach profile. September 20, 2013. Photo by Chris Gardener via New York District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

As ATZ reported earlier this month, the $7.2 million project to pump 600,000 cubic yards of sand along Coney Island’s shore began the weekend after Labor Day. Approximately 272,000 cubic yards of sand is replacing sand lost during Hurricane Sandy and the remaining amount of sand is to restore the project area to its original design after 20 years of erosion. According to the USACE, the engineered beach is designed to act as a buffer and reduce risks to homes and businesses from coastal storms like Hurricane Sandy. The crews will be working non-stop for another 2 to 3 weeks in order to be finished before the hurricane season.

Coney Island Post-Sandy Beach Restoration

Coney Island Post-Sandy Beach Restoration, September 20, 2013. Photo by Chris Gardener via New York District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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September 9, 2013: Photo Album: Post-Sandy Beach Replenishment Project in Coney Island

March 14, 2013: Photo of the Day: Repairing Sandy-Damaged Steeplechase Pier

February 1, 2013: Last Chance to See Coney Island’s 15th Street Sand Dunes

October 31, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island

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Post-Sandy Beach Replenishment

Post-Sandy Beach Replenishment Project, Coney Island. September 8, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

Over the weekend, work began on the $7.2 million project to pump 600,000 cubic yards of sand along Coney Island’s shore. ATZ snapped these photos on Sunday afternoon. Although the beach closed for the summer after Labor Day and red flags indicated no lifeguards were on duty, there were a few sunbathers and swimmers adjacent to the area where the work is getting underway. Check out our set on flickr.

Post-Sandy Beach Replenishment

Pipe for Post-Sandy Beach Replenishment Project, Coney Island. September 8, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

The annual Coney Island Kite Flying Festival, which was set for September 13-15 on the beach between West 10th and Stillwell, was cancelled by the Parks Department. While restoration work is going on, there will likely be rolling closures of roughly 1000 foot wide sections of the beach where construction work is active, according to a release from the Army Corps of Engineers. The beach nourishment project extends from West 37th Street to Brighton Beach, and is expected to be completed in the fall.

Post-Sandy Beach Replenishment Project, Coney Island. September 8, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

“Coney Island was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy and soon, its beaches will be well on their way to being protected against future flooding,” said Senator Charles Schumer last week. “This emergency project is critical to Coney Island beachgoers and homeowners and that’s why I fought hard to make sure this replenishment project had funding necessary from the Sandy Relief Bill. It is gratifying to see this work about to begin.”

Post-Sandy Beach Replenishment

Post-Sandy Beach Replenishment Project, Coney Island. September 8, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

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September 23, 2013: Photo of the Day: Coastal Research Amphibious Buggy (CRAB) in Coney Island

March 14, 2013: Photo of the Day: Repairing Sandy-Damaged Steeplechase Pier

February 1, 2013: Last Chance to See Coney Island’s 15th Street Sand Dunes

October 31, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island

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Mural Detail at New York Aquarium

Mural Detail at New York Aquarium, Coney Island Boardwalk. May 27, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

“If Paris is France, then Coney Island, between June and September, is the world,” wrote George C. Tilyou in 1886, when he was 24 and worked in his father’s Surf Bathing Pavilion. Eleven years later, he created Steeplechase Park, the first of Coney’s world-famous amusement parks. On June 1, 2013, in this summer of Coney’s comeback from Superstorm Sandy, Tilyou’s quote is truer than ever. Enjoy your summer — hope to see you in Coney Island!

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May 29, 2013: Coney Island Flicks on the Beach Opens July 1 with Little Fugitive

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Sinking Barge at Steeplechase Pier,

Sinking Barge at Steeplechase Pier, Coney Island. April 13, 2013. Photo © Jim McDonnell

This morning at approximately 8:23 AM, the FDNY’s Marine 6 responded to a report of a sinking barge at Coney Island’s Steeplechase Pier. NYC Fire Wire reported “All hands going to work for a sinking Barge with occupants trapped. Marine 9 rescued 2 at this time.” The barge has a crane with a 500 gallon fuel tank on it and the end of the pier was said to be in danger of collapse. Photographer Jim McDonnell was on the beach and captured the scene in these photos. Containment booms were put in place to protect against an oil spill. When more information and photos are available, we’ll post an update.

Bruce Handy photographed the barge and crane last night and said it was already tilting. The equipment had been at the end of the pier for the past few days for repairs of the Sandy-damaged pier. “The main diagonal beam that was raising the floor has been removed. Looks like they are stripping everything and will redo all the wood,” he said.

It’s exactly one month since workers began repairing the pier. On March 14th, ATZ first reported the repairs underway. In an email to ATZ, Meghan Lalor of the Parks Department Press Office wrote: “The entire Steeplechase Pier is being reconstructed. We expect to complete construction by July 4.”

UPDATE April 14, 2013

Today’s Photo Update: Sunken Barge at Steeplechase Pier in Coney Island

UPDATE April 24, 2013

The post-Sandy reconstruction of Steeplechase Pier is back up to speed after a construction barge sank on April 13: “Photo Album: Coney Island April 2013 Construction Update”, ATZ, April 24, 2013

Steeplechase Pier, Coney Island

FDNY Marine 6 on the scene at sinking barge, Steeplechase Pier, Coney Island. April 13, 2013. Photo © Jim McDonnell

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March 14, 2013: Photo of the Day: Repairing Sandy-Damaged Steeplechase Pier

October 31, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island

August 10, 2012: Steeplechase Plaza Under Construction in Coney Island

August 24, 2010: Video: Coney Island Pier Divers by Kevin C Downs

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