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First Track

First Track: Zamperla coaster under construction at Scream Zone. February 4, 2011. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

On Friday, Coney Island photographer Eric Kowalsky captured the moment when workers secured the first piece of track to the steel supports of Zamperla’s flying coaster. The Soaring Eagle-themed Volare flying coaster is one of four thrill rides in Coney Island’s new Scream Zone, slated to open on April 16. The photo reminds us of the excitement in Coney Island last May, when workers put the giant pinwheels and crescent moons into place on Luna Park’s gate.

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February 2, 2011: Photo of the Day: The Scream Zone’s Rising Skyline

November 11, 2010: First Pieces of Zamperla Flying Coaster Arrive at Coney Island’s Future Scream Zone

October 4, 2010: Coney Island 2011: Zamperla Adding Steeplechase Cavalry Coaster to Scream Zone

May 23, 2010: Luna Park Coney Island’s Pinwheel & Moon Gate Takes Shape!

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Zamperla Coaster

On Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island, Zamperla Coaster Rises on Skyline. January 31, 2011. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

Coney Island photographer Eric Kowalsky, who valiantly documented Thor Equities’ demolition of the Henderson Music Hall and the Bank of Coney, finally got to take some photos of construction on Coney Island’s Stillwell Avenue on Monday. Amid the snow, sleet and ice pellets, construction crews for Central Amusement International are putting up Zamperla’s flying coaster. The blue steel supports for the Scream Zone’s Soaring Eagle joined Deno’s Wonder Wheel, the Astrotower and the Cyclone on the skyline.

Back in October, ATZ got a first look at renderings of the four rides set to open at Luna Park’s new Scream Zone in April. Two of the rides are Zamperla coasters: the American Eagle-themed Volare flying coaster and the Steeplechase horse-themed MotoCoaster (ATZ: Coney Island 2011: Zamperla Adding Steeplechase Cavalry Coaster to Scream Zone, October 4, 2010)

Scream Zone will also feature Zamperla’s Turbo Force and a SlingShot high thrill ride from Funtime. The newly re-themed Soaring Eagle was relocated from Denver’s Elitch Gardens, where it made its debut as the Volare, which means “to fly” in Italian, in 2002. The supports and track for the flying coaster arrived in Coney Island in November. New cars and a new computer operating system are being manufactured for the ride by Zamperla. Ride experts say the two coasters will go up very quickly, but the other two rides require deep foundation work. This year Palm Sunday, Coney Island’s traditional opening day of the season, falls on April 17. The date is just 75 days away!

Zamperla/CAI has a ten-year lease to operate amusements on the 6.9 acres the City bought for $95.6 million from Thor Equities. Zamperla’s Scream Zone will be located on City-owned parcels at Stillwell and the Boardwalk.

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Related posts on ATZ...

November 11, 2010: First Pieces of Zamperla Flying Coaster Arrive at Coney Island’s Future Scream Zone

October 4, 2010: Coney Island 2011: Zamperla Adding Steeplechase Cavalry Coaster to Scream Zone

April 28, 2010: New Coney Island Coaster Pays Homage to Luna Park’s 1906 Tickler

February 15, 2010: Steeplechase Express: Will Zamperla MotoCoaster Pony Up for Coney Island?

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demolition

Thor Equities Demolition of the Henderson Building. January 5, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

Coney Island photographer Eric Kowalsky, who documented the demolition of the Bank of Coney Island in November, has eloquently captured the destruction-in-progress of the historic Henderson Music Hall in this series of images.

Eric put his camera through the gate on Henderson Walk to take the above photo of the crushed remains of part of the Henderson Building formerly occupied by Faber’s Fascination. “They took the front and side of the building down. The Bowery is still standing,” he said this morning.

demolition

Thor Equities Demolition of the Henderson Building. January 5, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

Last week we posted historian Charles Denson’s video tribute to the Henderson Theater. As we previously noted, the City aided and abetted Joey “Bulldozer” Sitt by rezoning the Henderson parcel for a high rise hotel. There are however no immediate plans to build a hotel on the site. The City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission denied landmark designation and also declined to create a historic district, which would have created tax incentives to rehab the building.

demolition

Thor Equities Demolition of the Henderson Building. January 5, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

The Henderson Building is the first sight you see on Surf Avenue when you step out of Stillwell Terminal. It is at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues. We should probably use the past tense, though the demolition is still underway. The first sight you see when you step out of Stillwell will soon be another empty lot to add to Joe Sitt’s collection of empty lots.

demolition

Thor Equities Demolition of the Henderson Building. January 5, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

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September 29, 2010: Saved or Not? Signs from Coney Island’s Henderson Building

September 24, 2010: Coney Island Cat Is Last Tenant of Henderson Building

September 12, 2010: Video: Coney Island’s Faber’s Fascination by Charles Denson

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

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