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Posts Tagged ‘1970s’

In this home movie shot in Coney Island in March 1973, a group of kids climb through a broken fence and cheerfully ride the heck out of an abandoned giant slide. The cameraman even manages a few POV shots and pans up at the abandoned Parachute Jump next door. The derelict attractions were their playground. The short film, which was posted by YouTube user huntersgodfather, brings to life scenes glimpsed in remarkable documentary photos from the same year by Charles Denson.

Retired arcade operator Stan Fox tells AtZ the Giant Slide was operated for only a few years by longtime Island concessionaires the Garto brothers, who also had rides at Wonderland, the predecessor to Astroland Park.

Arthur Tress Coney Island

1973 Photo by Arthur Tress for Environmental Protection Agency Project DOCUMERICA of abandoned slide in Coney Island


“It was an abandoned slide that went in after Steeplechase was demolished. Please don’t confuse with the original Steeplechase!,” says Charles Denson of the Coney Island History Project, who grew up in the neighborhood and recalls the Slide and the Jump being wide open. His photo of kids climbing the stairs to the slide against the backdrop of the neglected and vulnerable Jump appears in his book Coney Island: Lost and Found.

“I first attempted to climb the Parachute Jump in 1973, when it was a rusting, abandoned ruin. It was too dangerous,” says Denson in an intro to his film Climbing the Parachute Jump.

Parachute Kids. Photo ©  Charles Denson

Parachute Kids. Photo © Charles Denson

“In 2002 I finally realized my childhood dream and got to climb to the top of the tower. The Jump was a nature preserve. The motor room base was filled with pigeon nests and covered with muddy footprints of the raccoons who fed on the eggs. A raptor circled us at the top as we disturbed its perch, and the feet of the many small birds it had caught and devoured were spread out across the catwalks.”

Related posts on ATZ…

May 5, 2014: Up for Auction: Andreas Feininger’s Time Lapses of Coney Island Rides

April 18, 2014: British Pathé Releases Historic Newsreels of Coney Island

August 27, 2012: Video of the Day: Raw Footage of 1960s Coney Island

January 13, 2012: Rare & Vintage: Reginald Marsh Photos of Coney Island

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Shore of New York

Shores of New York at Chelsea Market: Two Dog Taffy, Coney Island 1970s by Lucille Fornasieri-Gold. Installation photo by Amusing the Zillion

Passing through Chelsea Market last week, I happened to see the above photo of dogs napping in front of a Salt Water Taffy sign in 1970s Coney Island. Don’t know the dogs, but Philips Candy’s storefront is instantly recognizable and a delicious trip back in time for anyone who came and went to Coney via the old Stillwell Terminal. The image is part of “Shores of New York,” an exhibit of Lucille Fornasieri-Gold’s photographs of Coney Island, Brighton Beach, the Rockaways and other local seaside places in the 1970s and ’80s.

Shoreof New York

Shores of New York at Chelsea Market: Eating Under Handwriting, Coney Island 1970s by Lucille Fornasieri-Gold. Installation photo by Amusing the Zillion

Lucille Fornasieri-Gold’s Coney Island subjects include ticket sellers, musclemen, members of the Polar Bear Club and people hanging out in their favorite spot by the sea. The images also afford a glimpse of vanished attractions like the candy shop and a funhouse. “While I didn’t intend to document New York City, they allow us a comparison to today,” says the photographer, who is now 80.

Born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Fornasieri-Gold was first exposed to art through her father, a professor of architectural sculpture, according to her bio. “With the birth of her last child in 1969, she received her first camera and took pictures intensely for a ten-year period. In 2002 she retired to work only on her photography. She shoots frequently, and processes her negatives digitally.” Her photographs are in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Historical Society and Brooklyn Public Library.

Shores of New York

Shores of New York at Chelsea Market: Funhouse, Coney Island 1970s by Lucille Fornasieri-Gold. Installation photo by Amusing the Zillion

“Shores of New York,” Photographs by Lucille Foransieri-Gold, on view through mid-October October 6, 2011 at Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Avenue, between 15th and 16th Streets, New York, NY 10011. Doors to the market are open Mon-Sat from 7am to 10pm, and Sun from 10am-8pm.

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Related posts on ATZ…

July 11, 2011: Circus Portraits: Photography by Kevin C Downs

July 8, 2011: Photo of the Day: Umbrellas on Coney Island Beach

April 12, 2011: Flickr Slide Show: DNALSI YENOC –> CONEY ISLAND

October 5, 2010: Mystery Artist Carved Faces into Rocks on Coney Island Beach in 1970s

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