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Posts Tagged ‘Jones Walk’

Wizard of Oz arcade

Luna Park’s New Arcade on Surf Avenue. June 30, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

These photos taken over the weekend in Coney Island show what’s new since our last report (“New Club Atlantis, MegaWhirl Ride Open in Coney Island,” ATZ, June 25) as well as ongoing construction on Jones Walk and the Boardwalk. As previously reported, Luna Park’s new state-of-the-art arcade, which takes only Luna cards, opened on Surf Avenue in the former Astroland Arcade. There were too many people crowded out front on Mermaid Day to get a good shot of this fantabulous Wizard of Oz crane and claw machine. What a showpiece! Selling for $50,000, the new, movie-themed moneymaker from Belgian manufacturer Elaut is the first-ever automatic coin pusher and the highest priced arcade machine of its kind in the world.

Jones Walk Coney Island

Under Construction: East Side of Jones Walk. June 29, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The east side of Jones Walk was leased to Luna Park in the spring after the City evicted longtime tenants and issued a Request for Proposals. Word on the street is that the first new stand, a Laser Maze, is expected to debut on July 4, with the rest of the stalls ready to open by mid- to late July. Four of the stands are expected to be games operated by Zamperla and four were leased to subtenants for food and shops, according to sources.

Word also that Zito’s Sandwich Shoppe of Park Slope, which recently expanded to a second location in the North Slope, will not be coming to Coney Island’s Jones Walk as announced in April. That’s disappointing because we were looking forward to picnicking on the Boardwalk with their chicken parm.

ATZ phoned Zito’s Marcello Bucca for confirmation. “Word on the street is correct,” he said. “They were not ready for us.” He said that Zamperla received financing at the end of June, later than they expected, thus delaying construction. The rehabbed Jones Walk stalls were originally slated to open on Memorial Day. Asked if Zito’s Sandwich Shoppe planned to open a location in Coney Island next season, Marcello said he hoped so, because so many people have been calling to ask about the new Coney Island location. “Ideally we’ll see what opens up. Right now it’s a no-go for this year.”

Tom's Restaurant Coney Island

Under Construction: Tom’s Restaurant, Coney Island Boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue. June 29, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The gut rehab by Tom’s Restaurant of Prospect Heights of the Boardwalk store at the corner of Stillwell Avenue is still underway. By the looks of the construction, it won’t be ready till late July, if then. The former location of Nathan’s and Cha Cha’s Club Atlantis (as well as the original Club Atlantis) required by far the most work and investment of any of the rehabbed Boardwalk stores. Due to structural issues, the place had to be completely gutted and rebuilt, including the roof and some of the brickwork. Windows were installed in the west wall. A new roof deck for alfresco dining will have spectacular views of the beach and boardwalk. When completed, Tom’s initially expects to remain open approximately nine months of the year.

Tom's Coney Island

Tom’s Restaurant’s Food Tent, Coney Island Boardwalk. June 30, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Since Memorial Day Weekend, Tom’s has had a tent set up on weekends in front of their future restaurant. You can buy Hot Dogs, Sausage and more adventurous fare like Shrimp Scampi and a Shrimp Chipotle Salad Sandwich, as well as cold drinks.

Across Stillwell Avenue, construction is also underway on Zamperla’s Place to Beach Bar, which is adjacent to Scream Zone’s new Sky Coaster and Go-Karts. The site is the former Steve’s Grill House and Beer Island.

Basketball Coney Island

Open for Business: Ray’s Basketball on Coney Island’s Bowery. June 30, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Yay for Ray’s Basketball on Coney Island’s Bowery! His concession stand is no longer “fenced off” and will be able to do biz on 4th of July. Ray finally managed to open on Friday for the first time this season after the chain link fence next to his awning was opened. City regulations had kept the fences closed, even after Cha Cha’s Steeplechase Park opened last weekend. Note the portable fencing placed in front of the basketball game, probably as per the letter of the law.

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June 23, 2012: Opening Today: Coney Island Grimaldi’s Pizzeria

May 29, 2012: Photo Album: Coney Island Lights & Signs of the Times

May 22, 2012: Photo Album: Welcome Back, Paul’s Daughter & Ruby’s Bar!

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Miss Coney Island

Miss Coney Island with her dancing cats and her baby doll. West 12th Street. April 1, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

After 14 years on Jones Walk, the windows featuring the life-size dancing doll “Miss Coney Island” and the miniature animated rides of “Coney Island Always” have moved to West 12th Street along with Skin the Wire and other whimsical games. Mechanical wonders like Chuckles the Clown and dancing cats can be found there as well. The location is just off the Boardwalk, under Deno’s Wonder Wheel and next to the Coney Island History Project.

“Miss Coney Island” spoke with ATZ–yes, she speaks via twitter!–about the big move and the marvelous makeover that has fans saying she looks 30 years younger. The shimmying mannequin received a complete re-do, including new wig, makeup, manicure, costume, jewelry and music. Her motto remains “Don’t Postpone Joy” and it’s still only “25 cents to fall in LOVE.”

Miss Coney Island

Closeup of Miss Coney Island's Bejeweled Hand. March 23, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

You’d never know it to look at Miss Coney but she is well over 30. We’re not one to give away a woman’s age, but anecdotal evidence suggests the dancing mannequin may be a contemporary of the venerable Grandma’s Predictions, the fortunetelling automaton in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. Earlier in her career, “Miss Coney Island” was an Indian Princess automaton at a fairground exhibition, she revealed. “My best friend was ‘Little Egypt.’ After the fair closed, everyone and everything was put up for auction. And here I am.”

The post-modern “Miss Coney Island” is a visual jukebox. This season there’s an emphasis on Doo Wop and Reggae music at Miss Coney’s request. “Most of the songs are oldies that were ‘newies’ when I was young,” she said wistfully. There’s “Little Darlin'” by the Diamonds, “Come Go with Me” by the Del-Vikings and of course “Under the Boardwalk” by the Drifters.” The song in the video that we made is “This Magic Moment.” While we were there a group of twenty-somethings came over and and started dancing. They kept putting quarters in the machine. Apparently they’d never heard music from the 1950s and ’60s and were enchanted. “What is this music,” they asked. “Where can we buy it?”

The usually silent Miss Coney decided to speak up after a New York tabloid recently dissed Jones Walk as “a longtime seedy strip” and claimed that the City cleared everyone out because it “had been filled with rigged carnival games and ripped off beachgoers for years.” She was furious. “In 14 years on the Walk, nobody but nobody has ever accused me or my friends of being seedy! Win or lose, people left with a smile on their faces,” Miss Coney said.

ATZ can vouch for Miss Coney’s veracity. Having worked games of skill on the Walk, it pained us to see the reputations of all of the concession operators tarnished so casually. There was ONE bad apple among the tenants in the City-owned booths. The majority of the operators were legit and were therefore able to relocate to City-owned or private property in Coney Island.

Miss Coney Island

Miss Coney Island Meets A Little Miss Coney Island. April 8, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

“It costs ’25 cents to fall in LOVE’ and ’25 cents to smile,’ but quarters don’t pay the rent in Coney Island,” according to Miss Coney, who depends on income from Skin the Wire and other $2 games of skill to fund her retirement. Three of the games made the move to 12th Street, but two money-making water games had to be left behind in the dumpster. “We just couldn’t fit them into our new space,” she added sadly.

Be that as it may, Miss Coney Island says “I’m sooo happy with my new location. More people walk by than on the Walk.” Earlier this month, singing sensation Rita Ora, who was in Coney to shoot her new music video, stopped by to pose in front of the windows. “Fingers crossed I’m in the video too,” said the dancing doll, who asked us to mention that she and “Coney Island Always” are available for film and TV shoots. “What I’d really love is a cameo on “30 Rock” and a mention on David Letterman’s Top 10 List.”

Coney Island animated toy window

Coney Island Always, West 12th Street. April 8, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

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October 6, 2010: Traveler: Where You Can Play Fascination Year Round

July 14, 2009: Miss Coney Island on Jones Walk: 25 Cents to Fall in Love

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 Zito's Sandwich Shoppe

Coming to Coney Island this Summer? 'Best traditional Eggplant Hero on the street' as quoted by a very satisfied patron via email. Photo and caption via Zito's Sandwich Shoppe, Park Slope, Brooklyn

On Sunday Zito’s Sandwich Shoppe tweeted to their followers that they were “working on a Coney Island Luna Park collaboration-more to come-looking to be part of the New Coney Island.” When we phoned to get the scoop, co-owner Marcello Bucca confirmed it was true but declined to say more until the lease is signed. ATZ is delighted by the possibility of having an Italian-American sandwich shop in Coney Island’s amusement area. During the summer, tourists often ask where they can buy the delicious sandwich we’re eating. We have to say, uh, you can’t. We brought it from home.

Zito’s menu features 13 different sandwiches including chicken parm, eggplant parm, pork bracciole, and for all of you vegetarians–meatless with grilled portobello, roasted peppers, broccoli rabe and homemade artichoke spread. Meats are from Salumeria Beillese of Hell’s Kitchen and Applegate Farms Organic Meats. All sandwiches are made on bread from Bensonhurst’s Il Fornaretto Bakery, one of Brooklyn’s best for Italian bread. Bucca and co-owner Enzo Conigliaro are Bensonhurst natives influenced by an old country philosophy and the slow food movement, according to an article posted in the Park Slope Patch when the sandwich shop opened last August.

As for their Coney Island location, our best guess is that Zito’s is eyeing one or more of the soon-to-be-rehabbed stands on the east side of Jones Walk, which Zamperla is leasing from the City. While the majority of the booths are expected to be game concessions run by Zamperla, the rest were being offered a few weeks ago to select food vendors. The Walk would be the most likely spot for a sandwich shop since French food giant Sodexo has an exclusive contract to provide food service within Zamperla’s Luna Park.

In November, the City’s Economic Development Corporation issued an RFP (Request for Proposals) for the booths on the east side of Jones Walk, a 1,650 square foot space that was purchased along with a larger parcel in 2008. The RFP required renovating or completely rebuilding the existing booths, some of which are in poor condition. The leases of longtime tenants in City-owned booths on the Walk, including water race games and other games of skill, windows featuring the mechanical doll “Miss Coney Island” and animated toy rides, and a Pina Colada stand were not renewed. The majority of tenants were able to relocate to other City-owned or private property in Coney Island.

UPDATE April 27, 2012:

UPDATE July 2, 2012:

Zito’s Marcello Bucca tells ATZ that Zito’s will not be opening in Coney Island this season: “Word on the street is correct,” he said. “They were not ready for us.” He said that Zamperla received financing at the end of June, later than they expected, thus delaying construction. The rehabbed Jones Walk stalls were originally slated to open on Memorial Day. Asked if Zito’s Sandwich Shoppe planned to open a location in Coney Island next season, Marcello said he hoped so, because so many people have been calling to ask about the new Coney Island location. “Ideally we’ll see what opens up. Right now it’s a no-go for this year.”
“Coney Island Update: New Arcade, No-Go for Zito’s, Tom’s Construction Saga,” ATZ, July 2, 2012

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Grashorn

Thor Equities Vacant & Shuttered Grashorn Building. August 15, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

We’re singing “Hooray for Hollywood, that phony super Coney Hollywood”! Not only is Men in Black 3 filming in Coney from May 2 through 6, they’ve leased Coney Island’s oldest building, the Grashorn, from Thor Equities and rescued it from oblivion. A construction crew is already fixing up the gutted interior of the building located at Surf and Jones Walk to use as their location headquarters.

Men In Black 3 stars Will Smith as Agent J traveling back in time to 1969 to stop a villain from killing a young Agent K played by Josh Brolin. According to the storyline, if the killing were carried out in the past, it would result in the destruction of Earth in the present. The production company is giving some of the buildings on Surf Avenue, Jones Walk and the Bowery a 1960’s look, including retro signage. At least one concessionaire on the Walk has plans to keep the look through the summer. Filming will also take place on the Boardwalk and in Wonder Wheel Park.

Target the Cat and Jimmy

On the Bowery: Target the Cat and Jimmy Waiting for Their Close-ups. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Jimmy, the Balloon Dart operator on the Bowery, is among the Coney Islanders who have been cast as extras. No word yet on whether Target the World-Famous Coney Arcade Cat has been hired for a walk-on. There was a casting call last week for “1969 New Yorkers (hippies, beatnik poets, ’60s celebrity look-a-likes, bikers, models, etc…), people who are less than 4′10 or more than 6′5, plus-sized people, and men and women with character faces.” Last year, the website joblo reported that ’60s era celebrities like Yoko Ono, Jimi Hendrix and Andy Warhol would appear in the film as aliens. The script has gone through a lot of changes. Filmed in 3-D, Men in Black 3 is set to be released on May 25, 2012.

As for the Grashorn, the fact that it’s getting rehabbed by the movie company has the Coney Island Rumor Mill saying it will be rented out afterward to game concessionaires. In Coney Island: Lost and Found, historian Charles Denson writes that the building at 1104 Surf dates back to the 1880’s and the Grashorn hardware store served Coney Island’s amusement businesses for more than 60 years: “The clapboard façade, dormers, cast iron resting, chimneys and fish-scale shingles were removed when the building was renovated in the 1980s but the mansard roof retains its shape.” Here’s a photo of the way the building looked in 1969. Will it look like this again when Men in Black 3 travels back in time next month?

Grashorn Building in 1969. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project

Grashorn Building in 1969. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project

Over the past two years, the Grashorn Building has fallen victim to squatters, blight and burst water pipes. Sideshow operator John Strong as well as two different arcade owners tried but failed to lease the space from Thor. The building remained shuttered and vacant during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. In January, one of Thor Equities’ omnipresent “Stores for Lease” banners went up on the Grashorn Building.

UPDATE April 25, 2011:

Photo op! Booths and signs for the Men in Black 3 set started going up today on the beach side of Coney Island’s Boardwalk. Madame Zava Phrenology and a Balloon Dart have already been set up. Jones Walk and the Bowery are also expected to get some retro signage. Since the film shoot isn’t scheduled till May 2nd, you’ll be able to travel back to 1969 if you come to Coney Island next weekend!

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May 2, 2011: Men in Black 3 Set Transforms Coney Island Boardwalk

January 21, 2011: Thor’s Coney Island: Coney’s Oldest Building for Lease

January 1, 2011: Amusing the Zillion’s Top 10 Coney Island News Stories of 2010

February 5, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Burst Water Pipes & Onerous Deal at Grashorn for Freak Museum

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Grashorn

Stores for Lease: The Grashorn, Coney's Oldest Building. January 20, 2011. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

One of Thor Equities’ omnipresent “Stores for Lease” banners went up yesterday on the Grashorn Building. Thanks to Coney Island photographer Bruce Handy for stopping by and taking these photos last evening. The banner caused excitement as peeps realized it meant that Coney Island’s oldest was not going to be demolished after all! Not this season anyway. But will it be leased? We’d really like to hope so, though potential tenants’ efforts to lease the building last year fell through. ATZ knows a couple of people who have already expressed interest. Get your bid in now!

Grashorn

Stores for Lease: The Grashorn, Coney's Oldest Building. January 20, 2011. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

For the record, Thor Equities never got a demolition permit for the Grashorn. ATZ first noticed this in August when the demo permits for the now demolished Bank of Coney Island, the Shore Hotel and the Henderson Music Hall were first issued. We never mentioned it because by then not calling attention to the Grashorn seemed the best way to protect the building.

Why was Coney Island’s oldest building granted a reprieve? Unlike the Bank of Coney and the Henderson, the Grashorn parcel at Surf Ave and Jones Walk was not rezoned for a 30-story high rise hotel. There’s also the fact that the building is just a few doors away from Luna Park’s entrance. And there’s also the fact the City owns the east side of Jones Walk and leases it to game concessions. The demolition of the Grashorn would have created a desolate empty lot near the City’s showcase amusement park and killed business on the Walk. Hey maybe the Mayor said to Joe, no demo?

In Coney Island: Lost and Found, historian Charles Denson writes that the building at 1104 Surf dates back to the 1880’s and the Grashorn hardware store served Coney Island’s amusement businesses for more than 60 years: “The clapboard façade, dormers, cast iron resting, chimneys and fish-scale shingles were removed when the building was renovated in the 1980s but the mansard roof retains its shape.”

Grashorn Building in 1969. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project

Grashorn Building in 1969. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project

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Grashorn Building

Burst Water Pipe in the Grashorn Building - The Oldest Building in Coney Island. February 4, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Yesterday a water pipe burst on the second floor of the Thor Equities-owned Grashorn Building, Coney Island’s oldest building. Water poured down the front of the vacant building, covering it in a sheet of ice and leaving an icy pile on the sidewalk by the end of day. We are of course worried that the leaking water may have done a significant amount of damage to the interior of the historic circa 1880s building. According to Coney Island: Lost and Found, the former Grashorn hardware store served Coney Island’s amusement businesses for more than 60 years. Will water damage plus onerous lease terms put the kibosh on John Strong’s deal to rent the building?

As first reported by ATZ on Monday, Texas-based sideshow operator John Strong came to New York and made a deal with Thor to rent the building at Surf Ave and Jones Walk for his freak and oddity museum. Sources told ATZ that when John Strong learned about the burst pipe, he phoned Thor Equities, which had already been notified of the problem. Strong also indicated that he might walk away from the deal because he had just received a copy of his lease from Thor and it contained a 30 day vacate clause. This clause means if Thor wants Strong out he’d have to leave within 30 days though he has offered to pay the entire season’s rent up front.

Can anyone explain the reason for a 30 day vacate clause on this seasonal lease? We’re told this clause was also in the leases that Thor gave to the Boardwalk businesses last year. Thor Equities onerous leases are infamous in Coney Island. But John Strong has a lot of work to do on both the interior and exterior of the vacant building to prepare it for his freak museum. The extra added attraction for Strong is the apartment on the upper floors of the Grashorn. Strong reportedly said he’d been told it would be up to him to get rid of the squatters and the garbage in the building!

Grashorn Building

Leak is from the second floor, dribbling down the front gates. Note Private security guard in Jones Walk. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

All we can say is if this is the way Thor Equities makes a deal with John Strong, who was instrumental in bringing rides and attractions to Sitt’s Dreamland last summer and has been one of Joe Sitt’s biggest boosters, newcomers beware. Oh yeah, that’s right: business is business. We hope that Thor Equities works out a more equitable lease agreement with John Strong so that the long vacant Grashorn Building will be “Alive!” and open for business this summer.

UPDATE 6:20 PM…ATZ has learned that Thor Equities had the water turned off in the Grashorn Building, salted the icy sidewalk and sent a locksmith to change all the locks. A security guard is now parked in front of the building keeping watch 24 hours a day. Our source speculates that instead of a burst water pipe, squatters who had been occupying the apartments on the upper floors turned all the faucets on and left the water running out of spite. If that’s the case, perhaps they got the idea from “the wet bandits” in the movie Home Alone. Their trademark was to leave the water running after they’d pulled a heist. Anyway, ATZ is glad Coney Island’s oldest building has its own personal security guard while we wait for it to be calendered by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. UPDATE FEB 6: A Little Publicity Doesn’t Hurt Dept: In response to ATZ’s email, John Strong writes: “As of today my concerns have been met and changed on the lease. I am moving forward coming to Coney Island.”

UPDATE April 29, 2010:

John Strong’s deal to rent the Grashorn is off! We’re sorry that rumors of Joe Sitt’s plans to demolish historic buildings which we reported in last week’s post “Thor’s Coney Island: Tattered Tents, Deathwatch for Historic Buildings” (ATZ, April 21, 2010) have turned out to be true. This is one time we would have preferred for the rumors to have remained just rumors.

Today, in response to a flurry of queries from reporters about Sitt’s still unleased empty lots and vacant properties, Thor Equities pr flack Knickerbocker SKD issued a press release announcing Sitt’s intention to begin demolishing the buildings and to replace them with other structures by May 2011. According to the release, “These structures will be replaced with more attractive, retail-friendly and up-to-code shops for the type of retailers Coney is famous for.” See “Thor’s Coney Island: Joey “Bulldozer” Sitt Is Baaack Playing Games!” (ATZ. April 29, 2010)

Translation: More Bull-Sitt from Thor Equities. More deliberately created empty lots.

Aerial view of Grashorn Building and 24 hour security guard. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Aerial view of Grashorn Building and its 24 hour security guard. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

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March 9, 2009: Thor’s Coney Island: Wanna Lease Stillwell? That’ll Be $500K Up Front!

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January 8, 2010: Coney Island 2010: Good Riddance to Thor Equities Flopped Flea Market, Hello Rides?

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Thor Equities Shuttered Grashorn Bldg, Surf Ave & Jones Walk, Coney Island, August 15, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Thor Equities Shuttered Grashorn Bldg, Surf Ave & Jones Walk, Coney Island, August 15, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

ATZ has learned that sideshow operator John Strong has made a deal with Thor Equities to return to Coney Island for the 2010 season. In lieu of last year’s location in the former Astroland arcade, which was sold to the City, Strong’s freak museum will occupy Thor Equities’ owned 1104 Surf Ave at Jones Walk. Known as the Grashorn Building after Henry Grashorn’s Hardware store, which was in business in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the building is Coney Island’s oldest. The Texas-based showman flew into New York last week for a meeting with Thor Equities.

The building fronts Surf Avenue and extends along the west side of Jones Walk. Yet this prime location remained vacant and devoid of activity in 2009 (see photo above) due to Thor CEO Joe Sitt’s soaring rents. Last summer, a business owner who had leased a small stand on the Walk from Thor in 2008 told us the 2009 rent had tripled from $8,000 to $24,000. He declined the space and left Coney Island.

John Strong was mum on the cost of his lease for the Grashorn but is said to be happy with the deal. His museum of live and preserved freaks and oddities will occupy a prime location between Zamperla’s new Luna Park on the former Astroland site and Coney Island USA’s Sideshow and Museum at Surf Ave and 12th Street. The extra added attraction for Strong and company is the apartment on the upper floors.

Grashorn Building, April 19, 2003.  Municipal Art Society via flickr

Grashorn Building, April 19, 2003. Municipal Art Society via flickr

As ATZ reported in “John Strong Sideshow Aims for Coney Island Comeback” (Jan 13, 2010), Strong also proposes putting his ten-in-one sideshow as well as a circus on Thor’s Stillwell property. But several carnivals and amusement operators, including the also rans for the City’s RFP, are vying to lease what remains of Thor’s lots on Stillwell. A decision is expected by mid-February.

In Coney Island: Lost and Found, historian Charles Denson writes that the building at 1104 Surf dates back to the 1880’s and the Grashorn hardware store served Coney Island’s amusement businesses for more than 60 years: “The clapboard façade, dormers, cast iron resting, chimneys and fish-scale shingles were removed when the building was renovated in the 1980s but the mansard roof retains its shape.”

Grashorn Building in 1969. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project

Grashorn Building in 1969. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project

The Grashorn is one of six historic structures proposed for city landmark designation by Coney Island USA, the Municipal Art Society and Save Coney Island. In 2004, Coney Island USA received a grant from the JM Kaplan Fund to hire an architectural historian and research old buildings in Coney Island. The City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has delayed calendaring the buildings during the rezoning process.

MAS’s Melissa Baldock makes a plea for the Grashorn Building’s landmark designation: “The building could be restored to be a wonderful showpiece of Coney Island’s historic vernacular architecture. It is remarkable that this building, which predates Coney Island’s first enclosed amusement parks and was built around the same time as Coney Island (and America’s) first roller coaster, survives in 2009. However, without landmark status, there is no guarantee that this piece of Coney Island history will be part of its future.”

UPDATE April 29, 2010:

John Strong’s deal to rent the Grashorn is off! We’re sorry that rumors of Joe Sitt’s plans to demolish historic buildings which we reported in last week’s post “Thor’s Coney Island: Tattered Tents, Deathwatch for Historic Buildings” (ATZ, April 21, 2010) have turned out to be true. This is one time we would have preferred for the rumors to have remained just rumors.

Today, in response to a flurry of queries from reporters about Sitt’s still unleased empty lots and vacant properties, Thor Equities pr flack Knickerbocker SKD issued a press release announcing Sitt’s intention to begin demolishing the buildings and to replace them with other structures by May 2011. According to the release, “These structures will be replaced with more attractive, retail-friendly and up-to-code shops for the type of retailers Coney is famous for.” See “Thor’s Coney Island: Joey “Bulldozer” Sitt Is Baaack Playing Games!” (ATZ. April 29, 2010)

Translation: More Bull-Sitt from Thor Equities. More deliberately created empty lots.

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Related posts on ATZ…

March 9, 2009: Thor’s Coney Island: Wanna Lease Stillwell? That’ll Be $500K Up Front!

April 29, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Joey “Bulldozer” Sitt Is Baaack Playing Games!

April 21, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Tattered Tents, Deathwatch for Historic Buildings

January 13, 2010: John Strong Sideshow Aims for Coney Island Comeback”>John Strong Sideshow Aims for Coney Island Comeback

January 8, 2010: Coney Island 2010: Good Riddance to Thor Equities Flopped Flea Market, Hello Rides?

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