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Posts Tagged ‘B & B Carousell’

B & B Carousell

B & B Carousell, Coney Island. August 2005. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Last night the Empire State Building was lit up blue and white in honor of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It was a prelude to this morning’s announcement that New York City has been selected as the location for Partners in Preservation 2012. American Express, in partnership with the National Trust, will award $3 million to preserve historic places in New York City. Coney Island’s B & B Carousell is one of 40 competitors vying for your online vote.

From April 26 through May 21, New Yorkers as well as anyone who loves New York may cast one vote daily on the Partners in Preservation New York City website or via Facebook, smartphone or tablet. According to the initiative’s press release, the top four vote-getters, to be announced May 22, are guaranteed to receive grants for their preservation projects. A Partners in Preservation advisory committee of community and preservation leaders will select sites that will receive the rest of the $3 million in grants.

On May 5 and 6, the Coney Island History Project is hosting a “B & B Carousell Open House” where the first restored horse will be on display along with photos of the restoration process and archival images of the carousel. The historic carousel was saved from auction in 2005 when the City purchased it for $1.8 million. The 1919 ride was packed up and moved from its longtime location on the north side of Surf Avenue and sent to Carousels & Carvings in Ohio for restoration.

The Partners in Preservation grant would fund transport and assembly from the restoration in Ohio back to New York. In 2013, the B & B will reopen in a new pavilion next to the Parachute Jump.

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Nathan's Coney Island

Nathan's under construction on the Coney Island Boardwalk. March 10, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

These photos taken on Saturday by photographer Bruce Handy show the first signs of new construction as Coney Island begins to awaken from winter hibernation. Coney’s 62 amusement rides and diverse attractions are ready to open with the usual fanfare on Palm Sunday, which is April 1st. The renovation of the Boardwalk stores is still underway and by the looks of the construction, most store owners won’t be ready till May. Construction hasn’t started yet on Zamperla’s new Speed Zone, featuring go karts and a Sky Coaster, but it is not slated to open till Memorial Day.

Nathan's Coney Island

Nathan's Famous under construction on the Boardwalk. March 10, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

At the corner of West 12th Street, Nathan’s Famous new Boardwalk outpost is quickly taking shape and is likely to be the first of the new stores to finish construction. At the moment a coat of yellow paint covers the side of the red storefront formerly occupied by Gyro Corner Clam Bar. The “Hey Joey!” mural by gents of desire is already history. Like the Nathan’s satellite previously at the corner of the Boardwalk and Stillwell, this store will have a walk-up counter and no indoor seating. In the slide show below, you can see photos of the construction at Ruby’s Bar and Paul’s Daughter, the BK Festival lot, Thor Equities new plywood-encased building at Surf and Stillwell and the still-closed Henderson Walk.

Steeplechase Plaza under construction on the Boardwalk. March 10, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

The photo above shows construction progress at Steeplechase Plaza, which broke ground in November. When completed in 2013, the oceanfront plaza on the site of the former Steeplechase Park will be home to the B & B — short for Bishoff and Brienstein — Coney Island’s last antique wooden carousel. Purchased by the City for $1.8 million in 2005, the ride will be installed in a glass pavilion with large-scale neon lettering spelling B & B CAROUSELL with a double L, of course.

Between the Parachute Jump and the carousel there will be a public plaza at grade with the Boardwalk. Additional features include a tree-shaded area with seating and a walkway beneath the Parachute Jump structure which will allow visitors to enjoy a spectacular view of the landmark. Construction of the 2.2 acre plaza is expected to cost approximately $29.5 million, according to the City.

Popeye's Chicken

Popeye's Chicken under construction on Surf Avenue. March 10, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

This new store will be the home of Popeyes Chicken. The popular fast-food restaurant is coming back to the south side of Coney Island’s Surf Avenue after more than a year’s absence. The location is the first floor of the Popper Building at 1220 Surf Avenue, just a few doors down from the restaurant’s previous spot. Popeyes owner had been in business year-round at this location in Coney Island for 27 years when he lost his lease in the now-demolished Henderson Building at the corner of Surf and Stillwell. Prior to Popeye’s, he operated Kennedy Fried Chicken. Ironically, the generic-looking new building that Thor Equities put up on the Henderson site remains vacant and was recently encased in plywood.

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February 27, 2012: Thor’s Coney Island: New Surf Ave Building Encased in Plywood

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November 15, 2011: Coney Island 2012: What’s New on the Boardwalk

October 17, 2011: Popeyes Chicken Returning to Coney Island’s Surf Avenue

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B & B Carousell

Painting and signage at B & B Carousell, Coney Island. August 2005. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Wanna grab the brass ring in the new Coney Island? New York City is seeking an operator for Coney’s historic B & B Carousell, which was saved from auction in 2005 when the City purchased the ride for $1.8 million. If you fancy the idea of running it, there’s a proposers meeting on Tuesday at 11 am at the Arsenal in Central Park that you shouldn’t miss. Last month the City’s Parks Department issued an RFP (Request for Proposals) to operate and maintain the restored 1919 carousel at the new Steeplechase Plaza next to the landmark Parachute Jump. Proposals to operate the B & B are due on January 17, 2012. (December 30, 2011 Update: Parks sent out an addendum today to provide a website where available plans may be downloaded and extended the deadline to January 30th)

In the RFP, the $2.00 ticket price for a whirl on the Central Park Carousel is cited as a point of reference for proposers. In 2009, the Central Park Carousel took in $188,123 and the concession fee there is $7,500 per month, according to the New York Post. You may not get rich selling tickets, but the ten-year lease for the B & B also includes a food service facility, merchandise kiosks, vending machines and a special event room, which is expected to be a popular spot for birthday parties.

B & B Carousell

B & B Carousell, Coney Island. August 2005. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The carousels in Central Park and Prospect Park as well as the horses on the Flushing Meadows Carousel were all relocated from Coney Island, which once had dozens of operating carousels. B & B is short for Bishoff and Brienstein, who brought the carousel back home to Coney Island from New Jersey’s Bertrand Island in 1932. The frame was the work of Coney’s William F. Mangels Carousell Works and the carvings were done by Charles Carmel. Jimmy McCullough and Mike Saltzstein owned and operated the ride since the 1970s.

These snapshots of the B & B were taken with a film camera in August 2005 after the City purchased the carousel. It was the last time that we saw the B & B. The ride was soon packed up and moved from its longtime location on the north side of Surf Avenue and sent to Ohio for restoration. A fairground art collector once told us that the scenic art gracing the B & B and its pavilion was the work of August Wolfinger, a German immigrant who worked closely with Mangels. As a banner painter he was known as “The Michelangelo of the Midway.” Some of the medallions and signs shown in the photos will be back on view when the B & B reopens in Steeplechase Plaza in 2013. The ride will be installed in a glass pavilion with large-scale neon lettering spelling B & B CAROUSELL with a double L, of course.

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May 26, 2013: A Portrait of Abe Lincoln on Coney Island’s B&B Carousell

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