Archive for February, 2012

Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance

Photo showing lack of drainage on concrete section of Boardwalk. Photo courtesy of Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance

ATZ obtained a copy of a letter the Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance sent to members of the City’s Public Design Commission, rebutting the Parks Department’s claims in a recent NY Times article that plastic and concrete is the only viable alternative to wood. The first part of the cover letter is reproduced below. On Tuesday, the grassroots group sent the letter to each commissioner along with a binder of research and photos that will be posted on the group’s soon-to-debut blog and publicized via twitter. Also to be posted is a statement on viable alternatives to tropical hardwoods for decking by Tim Keating of Rainforest Relief that is an addendum to the letter. (Update: The website http://savetheboardwalk.wordpress.com went live on March 5, while an online petition continues to gather signatures. The public hearing at the Design Commission is set for Monday, March 12.)

“The New York Times ran an article that made it seem like it’s just about over, but they didn’t have all the facts,” said CBBA’s Christianna Nelson in a post on Coney Island USA’s Message Board. “The other news outlets have simply been quoting that article. The fact is, the Design Commission has not ruled on the issue and they CANNOT rule without first having a public hearing. We all need to show up at that hearing and make our voices heard! Rob Burstein and I were interviewed on Good Day New York today on Fox, and we tried to correct some of these misconceptions.”

Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance

Photo showing concrete section of Boardwalk in Brighton Beach. Photo courtesy of Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance

Do I have to even mention this is a David vs Goliath situation? New York City’s Parks Department has an annual budget of $249 $290.2 million. Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance is made up of local people who volunteer their time. Hearings scheduled by Parks for January 30 and February 21 were abruptly postponed. How inconvenient for citizens who arranged to take time off from work to attend! Meanwhile, the Alliance’s online petition to “Keep the Boards in the Coney Island Boardwalk –No Concrete! and Save the Rainforests” continues to collect signatures, though it would have a lot more if the Times story read round the world had provided a link to it.

ATZ’s takeaway from the Times story on the Boardwalk was that Parks has been lobbying PDC Commissioners and postponing the vote till they’re sure of a win. In the article, Commissioners were described as “persuaded” or “resigned to” the Parks Department’s plan to use plastic wood and a strip of concrete down the middle for emergency vehicles. This so-called compromise plan was in fact voted down by the Community Board last year. It’s too bad the New York Times, which made this compromise plan sound inevitable, removed the word “concrete” from the original headline on the web version of the story when they corrected it to add the word “may.” Is concrete a dirty word?

Here is the first part of the Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance’s letter, which is signed by Rob Burstein, the founder and president of the organization, and Christianna Nelson, the chairwoman.

Dear Commissioner,

Enclosed is a binder with research, letters, and photos we have gathered that together create a compelling argument for maintaining Coney Island’s wood boardwalk.  A recent New York Times article reported that, “some commission members said they would reluctantly embrace the synthetic wood-concrete compromise.”  Given that the Parks Department seems to have communicated privately with at least some Commission members, we respectfully request the same opportunity.  We wish to provide you with information that our experts have compiled that the Parks Department is either unaware of or has willfully ignored, thus denying you the opportunity to benefit from it in your decision-making process.  A decision of this magnitude should be based on a complete understanding of all the issues and available options.  This is especially true since the Commission’s decision will have profound and far reaching implications for all the citizens of New York City, but most especially for the communities which will be most affected by whatever action the Commission takes.

We are sharing this information with you so that you have adequate time to review it in advance of any hearing, to reflect on its merits and factor it into your decision.  Accordingly, we would like to schedule a meeting with you and the other Design Commissioners, at your earliest convenience, to present our research in person and to correct the numerous fallacies in the Parks Department’s arguments as reported in the Times article.  Additionally, we would like to invite you on a brief tour of Boardwalk sites, to show you completed work with design elements that are problematical, yet still repeated in the current Parks Department proposal.

To provide you with a brief overview, the Times articles describes three arguments that the Park Department proffers in support of replacing the majority of the boardwalk with either concrete or plastic.  None of these arguments, either standing alone or collectively, supports the Parks Department’s proposal.

Claim #1: There is no viable wood.  The Parks Department states that they have “investigated every option, from natural woods like Douglas fir and black locust to treated woods like Southern yellow pine.  They concluded that such hardwoods were neither durable enough nor, in the case of black locust, abundantly available.”

Reality: This is simply not true.  A study commissioned by the Parks Department in 2008 and conducted by the Columbia School of Engineering concluded that black locust wood was the best material to use in rebuilding and repairing the boardwalk.  (Tab 1).

Black locust wood is, in fact, readily available in large quantities.  (Tab 2). ***For more specific information (suppliers, treatment methods, other possible wood options, etc.), please see the attached Addendum #1 from Tim Keating, Director of Rainforest Relief.

Ocean City, Maryland recently repaired their boardwalk using treated #1 dense southern yellow pine for the decking.  Their substructure of concrete footings provides enough support for the passenger trams that run up and down their boardwalk daily, as well as car and fire engine parades. (Tabs 19-21).

Claim #2: Wood is more expensive.  The Parks Department contends that concrete and plastic are “cheaper than wood to build and maintain.”  Domenic Recchia claims that it costs “more than $1 million a year to maintain the wooden Boardwalk.”

Reality: The Parks Department spent millions of dollars on concrete sections which have already required significant repairs.  Numerous unsightly cracks have appeared and, in some places, whole chunks of concrete have crumbled away, both on the decking area and underneath in the substructure. (Tab 22 shows photos of some of this damage).  By contrast, in Ocean City, Maryland, City Engineer Terry McGean tested very small sections of various materials for a brief period to determine what was best for long-term use. (Tab 20 contains a photo of these test sections).

Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance

Photo showing brand new concrete decking in Brighton Beach already cracked and stained. Photo courtesy of Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance

Concrete and plastic take maintenance, too.  In fact, the biggest cost differential between wood and concrete is in the installation, not the maintenance.  In Ocean City, McGean determined that over a 50-year period, the cost difference between wood and concrete was $1 million dollars ($16.7 million for all wood and $15.5 for wood with stamped concrete).  This amounts to an extra $24,000 per year for wood vs. concrete.  (Tabs, 18, 20).

From an aesthetic standpoint, concrete deteriorates much more quickly than wood, and is more difficult to repair, since there is no option of merely replacing one or two faulty boards.  The numerous chips, cracks and stains create “an unappealing, patchy look that downgrades the overall appearance of the boardwalk.” (Tabs 10, 11, 17, 22).

The Parks Department ignores the fact that people come from all over the world to see our Boardwalk, bringing tourism dollars to New York.  Mr. Benepe states that “economic considerations outweigh the historical importance of the wood.”  But wood’s historical significance has real economic value. (Tab 15).  People come to Coney Island to experience its history and unique character, not to see a generic concrete and plastic sidewalk. (Tab 23 shows numerous comments to this effect from the over 2,000 tourists and locals who have signed our online petition).  Indeed, Ocean City, Maryland changed part of its boardwalk from concrete back to wood in the late 1990’s and experienced significant economic improvement as a direct result. (Tab 16).  More recently, in 2011, Ocean City considered creating a concrete lane for vehicles on their boardwalk, similar to what the Parks Department is proposing for Coney Island.  (Tab 20).  But they decided against this option when the results of their online poll showed overwhelming support for an all-wood boardwalk without any traffic lane.  Tourists and locals alike lauded their boardwalk as the city’s “heart and soul.” (Tab 17).

The Parks Department is relying on conflicting assumptions.  They claim that the Boardwalk is in enough disrepair to warrant a complete overhaul.  Yet they also claim that it costs $1 million per year to maintain it.  If they have been spending $1 million per year on maintenance, how is it that the boardwalk is so damaged?  And if they have not been doing proper maintenance, how can they possibly know how much that maintenance costs?  The fact is that the Parks Department has refused to allocate funds to properly maintain the boardwalk.  Instead, they have neglected the boardwalk for many years and now claim that the only solution is to destroy the whole thing and build a new one using borrowed capital funds.  It would be more cost-effective to repair the current structure and maintain it properly.

Claim #3: Concrete and plastic are sturdier and just as safe as wood. The Parks Department claims that “a 12-foot concrete section for emergency vehicles” is necessary.

Reality: This argument relies on two unwarranted suppositions.  First, the Parks Department premises its claim that heavy vehicles, such as police cars and sanitation trucks, need to use the boardwalk as a roadway.  A cursory review of New York City amply demonstrates that police patrols do not necessarily need to take place in heavy vehicles.  Lightweight golf cart vehicles, which are used in other New York City venues, should be considered here, as well as bicycles in warmer weather.  Similarly, trash collection can be accomplished using smaller vehicles.  Certainly, this has been done in other public spaces, such as Central Park. (Tabs 6, 7, 11).

Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance

Photo showing lack of drainage on wood over concrete slab section of Boardwalk in Coney Island amusement area. Photo courtesy of Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance

Second, the Parks Department relies on the flawed premise that, even if heavy vehicles were to continue to use the Boardwalk, there is no way to construct a supportive structure utilizing wood.  Ocean City Maryland’s boardwalk, which accommodates daily tram traffic for its 8 million annual visitors, demonstrably proves otherwise (According to a November 7, 2011 press release at www.nyc.gov, Coney Island receives approximately 640,000 visitors in the summer season). Ocean City’s boardwalk is able to support this kind of enormous traffic because of its innovative, strong substructure. (Tabs 16, 19-21).

Moreover, the concrete and plastic sections that the Parks Department already installed have created real safety hazards that simply are not present when wood is used.  The concrete slabs do not allow for sufficient drainage of water.  Consequently sheets of ice build up on the concrete in the winter.  (Tab 22 contains a photo showing sheets of ice on the concrete section, but no ice on the wood section).  The plastic decking material fares no better.  The plastic is slippery year round, especially given the ocean mist.  ***For more specific information about the hazards of RPL, please see attached Addendum #1 from Tim Keating, Director of Rainforest Relief.

The Parks Department’s use of concrete slabs as a substructure over which wood is placed also creates safety risks.   The lack of drainage inherent in this design causes sand and other debris to build up.  The result is damaged wood and loose screws, both of which present hazards to pedestrians and bicyclists.  ***For more specific information regarding these design flaws and problematic previous applications, please refer to the attached Addendum #2, which contains email correspondence from Stuart K. Pertz, FAIA, Architect and Urban Designer.

Additionally, the concrete substructure creates a harsh and unforgiving surface for runners, pedestrians, and dancers, who all use the Boardwalk on a daily basis (Tabs 9, 11, 12, 13, 14).  Concrete also has been known to concentrate wave energy, increasing the risk of floods. (Tab 8).

If concrete and plastic were the only environmentally responsible, affordable, easily available, sturdy, and safe options for repairing a boardwalk, no city would choose to maintain a wood boardwalk.  But many communities across the country have found that wood boardwalks are, in fact, viable and beneficial.  For example, Long Beach, NY; Long Branch, NJ; Asbury Park, NJ; Point Pleasant, NJ; Seaside Heights, NJ; Atlantic City, NJ; Ventnor, NJ; Ocean City, NJ; North Wildwood, NJ; Wildwood, NJ; Bethany Beach, DE; Ocean City, MD; Myrtle Beach, SC; Miami Beach, FL; and Santa Monica, CA are some of the municipalities that have come to the reasoned conclusion that a wood boardwalk can and should be maintained.

 Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance

Underneath the Boardwalk near Steeplechase Pier. Photo courtesy of Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance


Related posts on ATZ…

September 8, 2012: October 4: Coney Island’s Endangered Boardwalk to Get its Day in Court

January 24, 2012: Parks Postpones Do-Or-Die Hearing on Coney Concretewalk

January 20, 2012: Jan 30: NYC Design Commission to Meet (Again) on Coney Island Concretewalk

January 5, 2012: New Year, New Push to “Keep the Boards in the Coney Island Boardwalk”

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Thor's Coney Island

Thor Equities Building at Surf and Stillwell in Coney Island. February 25, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy. All Rights Reserved

Even though ATZ has been covering the boarding up of Thor Equities new (and first-ever) building in Coney Island, we were shocked by these photos. Is this a glimpse into the future of what we can expect on Joe Sitt’s property in Coney Island? Yes, the building is ugly and out of place, but the plywood just makes a bad situation worse. The blight doubled overnight.

Last time we looked, plywood covered only the Surf Avenue side, but now the entire structure has been boarded up. “Looks like they built a box then flew it in attached to helicopters,” writes photographer Bruce Handy, who shot the photos on Sunday.

What does it look like to you? Hey, let’s have a comment contest! Last time we posted photos of the building, one astute reader wrote, “Sterile is too kind of a description. Thor’s soulless construction is the true definition of urban blight.”

The plywood-encased, suburban mall-like structure is on the southeast corner of Surf and Stillwell, the gateway to Coney’s Beach and Boardwalk as well as Scream Zone’s roller coasters and thrill rides. It’s the first sight visitors see in Coney Island as they exit Stillwell Terminal. The Henderson Music Hall stood on this corner for more than a century until Sitt had it demolished along with two other buildings in 2010, putting an end to Save Coney Island’s efforts to create an historic district.

Thor's Coney Island

Thor Equities Building in Coney Island, view from Bowery and Stillwell February 25, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy. All Rights Reserved


Related posts on ATZ…

February 21, 2012: Thor Destroys 119-Year-Old Relics of Coney Trolley History

February 18, 2012: Thor Equities Boards Up New Building in Coney Island

February 5, 2012: Botched Job: Coney Island Art Exiled by Thor Equities

February 2, 2012: Thor’s Coney Island: Generic New Building at Surf & Stillwell

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Ghost Hole in Winter

Wonder Wheel, Ghost Hole & Astrotower in Winter. January 29, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

On West 12th Street in Coney Island, the Ghost Hole Demon is still hibernating in his plastic shroud, but preparations are well underway for opening day of the 2012 season.

Next door in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, the kiddie rides have been reassembled, the Wonder Wheel is being painted, and the Spook-A-Rama Cyclops opened his eye and looked around. Putting the cars back on the Wheel is the last bit of business before Palm Sunday. Coney’s traditional opener is early this year. It’s on April 1st–yes, April Fool’s Day!–but some of Coney Island’s rides and attractions are expected to open for the weekend on Saturday, March 31st.

If you’re curious to see the demon on the Ghost Hole’s facade, here he is calling in customers courtesy of a 2009 video by magicalthemeparks. Formerly called “Geister Hohle”, the German dark ride came to Coney Island from Trimper’s Amusement Park in Maryland in 1999. The facade was updated and the demon was added by 12th Street Amusements in Coney Island.


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If you’re one of those skeptics who thinks a sword swallower’s sword folds up into the handle or employs some kind of special effect, February 25th’s big swallow should set you straight.

Today, in celebration of the 6th annual World Sword Swallowers Day, more than 30 performers are expected to “drop swords” at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditoriums in New York, London, San Francisco, Hollywood, and Orlando, among other places. Los Angeles sword swallower Brett Loudermilk made these videos three years ago on International Sword Swallowers Day in New York City. One of 10 featured sword swallowers at Ripley’s in Times Square in 2009, this year Loudermilk will be at Ripley’s Hollywood.

In New York, today’s free show at Ripley’s begins at 1:30 pm and ends with the big swallow at 2:25 pm. Keith Nelson of the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and the Lady Aye will be among the Kings and Queens of Swords.

“A lot of it is just showmanship. You really have to get the audience with you feeling that it’s real, and then kind of hold them at that edge,” Nelson tells ATZ. In an attempt to convince skeptics in the audience that, as he says, “what I’m shoving down my throat is real,” the Bindlestiff’s charmingly subversive Mr. Pennygaff has also swallowed oversize scissors, sabers, corkscrews, door springs, coat hangers and, in a tribute to good ol’ vaudeville, a rod upon which he has set a spinning plate!

The February 25th celebration was started by the Sword Swallowers Association International to promote this ancient art, honor veteran performers, and raise awareness of the medical contributions sword swallowers have made in the fields of medicine and science, according to SSAI founder and multiple Guinness World Record holder Dan Meyer.


Related posts on ATZ…

February 4, 2013: Rare & Vintage: Girl to Gorilla Sideshow Banner

August 6, 2012: Art of the Day: Madame Twisto by Marie Roberts

April 18, 2012: Rare & Vintage: A Neon Sword Swallower’s Sideshow Banner

November 4, 2011: Up for Auction: Ringling Bros Circus Side Show Poster

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Employees at Luna Park Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

UPDATE: See post for 2015 season here: “Coney Island Amusement Park Jobs from Entry Level to Managerial Up for Grabs,” February 22, 2015

Running away with the carnival is easy but sticking with it through the end of the season is hard work. Once upon a time it was a rite of passage for American kids who wanted to see the world beyond their hometowns. Nowadays, the amusement industry still recruits high-school grads and college students, as well as retirees and others with merry-go-round memories and itchy feet. If you’d like to work in Coney Island or travel across the country with a carnival, now is the time of year to apply for a job.

Next week, Central Amusement International, operator of Coney Island’s Luna Park and Scream Zone, and Nathan’s Famous, together with the Coney Island Development Corporation, will begin recruiting for seasonal positions. “This is a unique opportunity to become a part of ‘The One and Only Coney’ by joining the team of dedicated employees that make Coney Island an entertainment destination worldwide,” says the CIDC event flyer for the upcoming screenings. (Update: If you are viewing this post in 2014, check out this season’s job information at “A Head Start on Summer Jobs in Coney Island”

The job screenings are February 28, March 1, April 24 and April 26, 2012 from 12 noon till 6 pm at the Brooklyn Cyclones’ MCU Park, 1904 Surf Avenue in Coney Island. In past years, nearly a thousand people have shown up on a single day, so we recommend getting there early. Qualified candidates, who must be 18 years of age or older, will be referred for an interview. Seasonal jobs include Ride and Game Operators, Food and Beverage Service, Park Service, Customer Service/Retail Sales and Ticket Sales Associates/Cashiers.

Lunatic Dance Team, Luna Park Coney Island. July 15, 2011. Photo © Jim McDonnell. All Rights Reserved.

If you’re reading this after the screening events have taken place or can’t make it, visit the Career Opportunities pages at Nathan’s Famous and Luna Park and also check Craigslist. Luna Park currently has an ad on Craigslist for dancers and performers for the Lunatic Promotion Team, which pays $10 per hour. According to the ad, “the team will attend offsite promotions to inform new guests about the park and all the amazing things Coney Island has to offer. The second task will be to handle on-site events, promotions, photo opportunities and guests experience surveys.” Performers, including singers, dancers and DJs, will take part in the Cyclone roller coaster’s 85th birthday celebration and Coney Island’s first end of the summer concert.

Game operator

Game operator with North American Midway Entertainment. Via Facebook.com/Namidway

A dozen years ago, homesick for the midways of my carnival childhood, I went on the road with S & S Amusements, touring the Pennsylvania fairs. Since then, I’ve worked as a game agent with Wade Shows at New York City’s “Big A” Fair, the Delaware State Fair, the Michigan State Fair and the Central Florida Fair, and on Coney Island’s Jones Walk. One advantage to working in Coney is being able to sleep in my apartment at night, though when I got home from being on the road all summer it took a bit of getting used to having townhouses across the way instead of a Tilt-A-Whirl.

“The carnival business, which supports America’s state and sounty fairs, festivals and community events, needs seasonal workers who are willing to travel, work nights, weekends and Holidays,” Bob Johnson, President of the Outdoor Amusement Business Association tells ATZ. A look at the websites of OABA member carnivals shows that these carnivals are hiring ride operators and attendants, food and game agents, maintenance, electricians and welders. “Weekly pay is based on State and Federal minimum wage rates, and other State regulations, such as overtime pay,” notes Johnson “Over 5 million seasonal workers support this industry and many come back year after year as they love to travel and entertain over 300 million patrons who visit the carnival midways.”

North American Midway Entertainment

Ride operators with North American Midway Entertainment. Via Facebook.com/Namidway

If the idea of traveling to 20 states and 4 Canadian provinces, including 10 of the top 50 fairs in North America is appealing, then you may want to check out North American Midway Entertainment’s Careers page.

ATZ talked with Ed Dame, Director of Operations for NAME, “the world’s largest traveling outdoor amusement park,” about opportunities with his company. “Eighty percent of our employees are locals,” he said. “We advertise in newspapers and state workforce agencies.” The carnival company has an Employee Appreciation Program, which rewards workers with gift certificates, iPads and computers.

Group activities include day trips to Major League baseball games, Banff, Niagara Falls and New York City, as well as BBQs, bowling nights and jamborees. Among the fairs played by NAME are The Eastern States Exposition in Massachusetts, Toronto’s CNE, the Calgary Stampede, Miami-Dade County Fair & Expo and State Fairs in Mississippi, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois.


Related posts on ATZ…

January 10, 2014: A Head Start on Summer Jobs in Coney Island

February 2, 2010: Traveler: North American Midway’s Giant Vertical Swing at Super Bowl!

August 16, 2009: Coney Island Carnival Games: My Photo Album

January 26, 2010: Scoop: Zamperla’s $24M Coney Island Park to be Named Luna Park!

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Bumper Car Wind-Up Toy

1930's Tin Litho Bumper Car Wind-Up Toy. Courtesy of eBay Seller Toy Claus

ATZ came across this delightful 1930s tin bumper car wind-up toy with two lithographed riders on eBay. At the moment, nine bidders are vying for it! The high bid is $71 in an auction that ends on Saturday, February 25th.

Earlier this month, a similar toy sold for $156 on eBay. In that auction the unsigned toy was said to have been made by New York’s Buffalo Toy Company. In the current auction, seller toyclaus ascribes it to the Wyandotte Toy Company. Either way, good luck to everyone who jumps in with a bid.

If vintage toys are beyond your budget but you want your very own fleet of bumper cars to play with at work, check out xUmp.com’s Never-Fall Bumper Car Wind-Ups. The plastic toy retails for $3.00-$4.99 and is engineered not to fall off the edge of your desk. In this video xUmp founder and physicist Anton Skorucak gives a demo and explains the science behind his toy bumper cars…

UPDATE March 1, 2012:

The vintage bumper car toy sold for $182.38 with the winning bid placed in the last few seconds of the auction!


Related posts on ATZ…

December 7, 2011: Jones Walk’s “Miss Coney Island” Shimmies Over to 12th St

November 11, 2011: Up for Auction: Rack of Vintage Carnival Knockdown Dolls

December 19, 2010: Rare & Vintage: Original Coney Island Motordrome Bike

May 21, 2009: Astroland Closed But Your Kid Can Still Ride the USS Astroland This Summer!

Read Full Post »

View from Stillwell

View of Thor Equities New Plywood-Wrapped Building from Stillwell Terminal. February 20, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Last week, Thor Equities got rid of a pair of century-old relics of Coney Island history when a new sidewalk was laid on Surf Avenue. Two trolley utility poles which date back to the 1890s are gone. Missing from the above photo of Joe Sitt’s brand-new, plywood-wrapped building viewed from Coney Island’s Stillwell Terminal, the poles can be seen in these photos from January 2012 and April 2011. The new building is the first sight you’ll see when you exit Stillwell Terminal. It occupies the site of the century-old Henderson Music Hall, which Thor Equities demolished in 2010.

When trolley service on the Surf Avenue-Seagate line ended on December 1, 1946, the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce requested that the poles on both sides of Surf Avenue be left in place in the amusement area to be used for holiday decorations. Stan Fox, the former owner of Playland Arcade, told ATZ that about ten years ago, Charlie Tesoro of the Chamber asked him to count them. “There were sixty-four,” says Fox. “Since then some have fallen down. Others were removed.” The ones in front of MCU Park were removed when the stadium was constructed, he says. (Fox updated his trolley pole census the day after this article was posted. He says there are currently 43 poles on Surf Avenue.)

The poles in front of Luna Park have enjoyed a kinder fate. They were painted red, white and blue, as you can see in the photo below. Although most visitors to Coney Island probably pass by these humble artifacts without noticing them, the poles extend from West 5th to West 21st Streets. Trolley service began in 1893, which makes the poles older than Steeplechase Park (1897), Luna Park (1903) and Dreamland (1904), as well as any of Coney Island’s landmarks, including the Wonder Wheel (1920) and the Cyclone (1927).

in front of Luna Park

Red, white and blue trolley poles on Surf Avenue in front of Luna Park Coney Island. February 20, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

On Flickr, the Coney Island Trolley Utility Poles Archive has documented 45 poles in the amusement area and collected historic images. “Nonetheless, with the wholesale demolition of the Coney Island amusement area in the offing within the next few years,” wrote the archivist in 2007, “the days of the trolley utility poles are numbered, and they will be inevitably consigned to the scrap heap, never to be seen again, except on this Flickr page.”

Interestingly, a commenter from the Boston area wrote: “Actually, poles almost exactly like this, and probably of the same vintage, are still in use in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Now they run the wires for the ‘trackless trolleys’ (electric buses).”

trolley pole

Trolley pole at Surf Avenue and W 12th Street in front of Thor’s empty lot. February 20, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr


Related posts on ATZ…

April 4, 2012: Photo of the Day: Granville T. Woods Memorial Trolley Pole

February 18, 2012: Thor Equities Boards Up New Building in Coney Island

February 2, 2012: Thor’s Coney Island: Generic New Building at Surf & Stillwell

April 29, 2010: Photo of the Day: Interior of Coney Island’s Doomed Henderson Music Hall

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