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Posts Tagged ‘signage’

Full Moon in Coney Island

Full Moon in Coney Island, March 26, 2013. Photo © Bruce Handy

March 26th’s full moon peers over the top of the landmark Cyclone roller coaster and the Wonder Wheel’s “Thrills!” sign in this exquisite capture by Coney Island photographer Bruce Handy. The American flags are the cherry on top!

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View from DNALSI YENOC

April 22, 2013: View from DNALSI YENOC, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

This week, the framework for a large sign was erected on the roof of Thor Equities new building at Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island. Will it be a billboard for a business or another one of Thor Equities “Space for Lease” teasers? As a photographer friend says: “That’s how you can tell a Thor property in Coney Island…the ‘For Lease’ sign!”

The building is the first sight you see when exiting Stillwell Terminal and we’ve taken many photos from this vantage point. There’s even a flickr group called DNALSI YENOC — Coney Island spelled backwards– showing how this view has changed over the past few years. Watch this space to see yet one more. In the meantime, here’s a look back at the signage, dating back to 2007, on Joe Sitt’s properties in Coney Island.

DNALSI YENOC: View of Surf Ave from Stillwell Terminal

April 8, 2012: DNALSI YENOC: View of Thor’s New Building on Surf Ave from Stillwell Terminal. Photo © Tricia Vita

The photo above shows the same view one year ago, when Thor’s building was completed and then immediately covered with plywood and a signature banner trumpeting “Retail Space Available.” The building remained vacant but now has at least three tenants for the 2013 season that ATZ was able to confirm: Maritza’s Souvenir Shop, a longtime tenant of the historic Henderson Building which was demo’d to make way for the generic-looking new building, is back in her old spot for the summer. It’Sugar, a Miami-based candy retailer, has the corner store and is expected to open May 3. Wampum, a lifestyle clothing brand and skateboard shop with two other locations in Bridgehampton and Nolita, is slated to open in Coney on May 24.

May 28, 2012: Coney Island ‘Funny Face’ Mural on Thor Equities Building at Surf and Stillwell. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

On Memorial Day Weekend 2012, the plywood on the Surf Avenue side of Thor’s vacant building came alive with this Funny Face mural. On Stillwell, the plywood remained dotted with signs touting “CONEY ISLAND – The RETAIL RIDE of a LIFETIME – for leasing contact…” As we wrote previously: “Ain’t it just like Joe Sitt to tout retail when Coney Island, the birthplace of the amusement industry, is expecting its best season yet because of the success of Luna Park on land purchased by the City from Thor?”

View of Henderson Building and Shore Hotel

July 12, 2009: View of Henderson Building and Shore Hotel, Demolished in 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita

Now we’re time-traveling back to July 2009, a few weeks before the City Council passed the rezoning that allows high-rise hotels on Joe Sitt’s property on the south side side of Surf, including this lot! The original caption on the photo was “View of Endangered Historic Buildings Owned by Thor Equities” and called people to a rally to “Save Coney Island.” Sadly, the Henderson Building and the Shore Hotel, seen above, were demolished in December 2010.

During the 2009 season, Thor’s banners touted “Festival by the Sea. A Uniquely Entertaining and Amusing Flea Market in Coney Island. Head Straight on Stillwell for Tons of Fun.” It was not.

Closed due to threat of bad weather on a sunny day.

May 15, 2009: Thor Equities flea market ‘Closed due to threat of bad weather’ on a sunny day. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

One of the most eye-catching signs at the flea market was “Closed due to threat of bad weather” posted on a sunny day in May due to a tent malfunction. You can’t make this stuff up. It was soon replaced by one that read “Pardon our Appearance while we adjust our tents.” Translation: The City’s DOB was requiring that the tents and structures be able to withstand hurricane force winds before issuing a C of O.

Shore Hotel Nature's Paradise by the Sea

April 26, 2009: Shore Hotel Nature’s Paradise by the Sea. Photo © Tricia Vita

Plastered with Thor’s ubiquitous “Space for Lease” signs but never leased, Coney Island’s Shore Hotel was boarded up with plywood painted in festive colors. A much smaller sign on a fence said “ATTENTION The Shore Hotel has closed down.”

The Shore Hotel was built circa 1903 and demolished by Thor Equities on December 10, 2010. It took only a couple of days for the demo men to take down the century-old wood frame building. There was nothing left of “Nature’s Paradise by the Sea” but a pile of sticks to be hauled away.

The Shore Hotel has closed down.

September 3, 2007: ATTENTION The Shore Hotel has closed down. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

One signage-related highlight of 2008 was Joe Sitt being called “The Grinch Who Stole Coney Island” by the New York Post after cutting locks and hanging for lease banners on his Boardwalk and Stillwell properties on Christmas Eve. A section of the gigantic banner on the Henderson Building is seen in the photo below. R.I.P Shoot Out the Star. So far, Thor’s new building at Surf and Stillwell has no tenants with amusement games or arcades.

Thor Equities phone number dwarfs Shoot out the Star

January 1, 2009: Thor Equities phone number dwarfs Shoot out the Star, Coney Island.

Also in 2008, Thor’s “Future of Coney Island” banners were recycled by tenants as decorative backdrops for their games. In January 2009, the slogan was tarnished when Thor’s Future of Coney Island website URL was taken over by a Belgian porn entrepreneur. “Who ever would have thunk the Future of Coney Island would turn out to be Biker Chicks in Heat and Lust on the Beach? Our suggestion: Somebody reopen the Shore Hotel right away with free 24/7 Belgian porn,” wrote Gowanus Lounge’s Bob Guskind.

Thor Equities Space for Lease

August 8, 2008: Thor Equities Space for Lease and ‘Future of Coney’ banners as backdrop for basketball joint on Surf Ave. Photo © Tricia Vita

Thor regained control of the URL but later gave it up. Yes, that’s right, Joe Sitt no longer owns “The FutureofConeyIsland.com”! If you type in the URL, you’re redirected to its new owner, real estate site LivingThere.com (“A Better Way to Find a Home”). Wanna buy an “exquisitely spacious 2 bedroom/1 bath coop in Trump Village Section 3 on a high floor offers spectacular views of the ocean from every room and balcony”?

The Future of Coney Island  Construction Banner

July 5, 2008: Thor Equities, The Future of Coney Island Construction Banner. Photo © Tricia Vita

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Related posts on ATZ…

April 19, 2013: Thor’s Coney Island: Evicted Souvenir Shop Returns to Its Spot

February 13, 2013: Thor’s Coney Island: Candy Retailer It’Sugar to Open Surf Ave Store

December 19, 2012: Will Coney Island’s Surf Ave Become a Mecca for Franchises?

March 3, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: What Stillwell Looked Like Before Joe Sitt

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Playland Arcade

Remaining Playland Letters Saved by the Coney Island History Project. February 14, 2013. Photo © Coney Island History Project

The demolition of Coney Island’s Playland Arcade got underway in October, but was interrupted by Sandy. The job was finished today. It’s gone!

Charles Denson of the Coney Island History Project managed to save the remaining letters on the facade– L, N and D– and several of the whimsical yet deteriorating murals. “Our previous efforts at preservation were hampered by trespassers, vandals, black mold, the untimely death of Playland’s caretaker, Andy Badalamenti, as well as Superstorm Sandy,” according to a photo album on the History Project’s Facebook page. The artifacts will be exhibited this season.

An arcade existed in the Playland building from the 1930s until 1981, operated by four sets of brothers over a fifty year period. In 1981 the arcade machines were auctioned and the business closed, leaving Playland vacant for the past thirty years.

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Related posts on ATZ…

October 23, 2012: Playland Arcade Demolition Under Way in Coney Island

Janaury 31, 2012: Remnant of Under Boardwalk Bar Found in Coney Island

Janaury 16, 2012: Photo of the Day: Signs of Coney’s Club Atlantis Resurface

January 19, 2010: Nathan Slept Here! Coney Island’s Feltman’s Kitchen Set for Demolition

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