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Posts Tagged ‘petition’

Public Design Commission Hearing

Public Testimony at the Public Design Commission Hearing on the Coney Island Boardwalk, March 12, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

If you’re in ATZ’s address book, chances are you received the following email from us yesterday or today. Please copy it and share it widely. You can help save the Boardwalk for future gens by signing the petition!

Dear Friends,

City Council members Mark Treyger and Chaim Deutsch, whose districts include the Coney Island-Brighton Beach Boardwalk, have just launched a public petition calling for the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate the boardwalk a “Scenic Landmark.” Please help their efforts by signing this petition at Change.org and sharing with your friends. It could be our last chance to stop the Boardwalk from becoming the Concretewalk.

If you do not wish your name to appear publicly simply uncheck the box beneath the red “Sign” tab before you click it.

Link to petition: https://www.change.org/p/nyc-landmarks-preservation-commission-designate-historic-riegelmann-boardwalk-as-scenic-landmark

Boardwalk under construction

Walking on Boardwalk Under Construction, November 29, 1922. Photo by E.E. Rutter via NYC Dept of Records, Municipal Archives

“There is no question that the historic Riegelmann Boardwalk is one of the most iconic and beloved structures in our entire city and clearly merits this designation,” said Councilman Treyger. “I have already heard from dozens of New Yorkers who are shocked this isn’t already the case and wanted to share their personal stories of what the boardwalk means to them and their families. This is an important piece of New York City history and we must act now before it is drastically changed and lost forever. I am asking anyone who has ever visited the Riegelmann Boardwalk or cares about preserving our history to join our effort.”

“The Coney Island Boardwalk is a Brooklyn icon that possesses significant value, attracting visitors since 1923. In an effort to prevent any compromise of the historic design, I urge the Landmark Preservation Commission to grant landmark status to the boardwalk,” said Councilman Deutsch.

Boardwalk renovation 1934

The Boardwalk opened in 1923 and was already undergoing renovation in 1934: Group of men ripping up old planking on Coney Island boardwalk near Half Moon Hotel. Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, who represents New York’s 8th congressional district in Brooklyn and Queens, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams also spoke in support of the designation.

“The famed Coney Island Boardwalk has been an important part of the social, cultural and economic fabric of our City for generations. The effort by Councilman Treyger to secure scenic landmark designation for the boardwalk will help preserve this Brooklyn icon for future New Yorkers to enjoy and experience, and I look forward to working with him to make it a reality,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.

“The Riegelmann Boardwalk is imprinted with over 90 years of history, helping to establish Coney Island as America’s playground,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who is co-sponsoring a New Year’s Eve celebration including an LED light show and fireworks, at Coney’s Parachute Jump, which he plans to make an annual tradition.

“Millions of visitors have made the pilgrimage to southern Brooklyn, and we want to see millions more enjoy its unique, iconic character in the decades to come,” said the Borough President. “I support a scenic landmark designation for the Riegelmann Boardwalk because I believe it is in the best interest of Brooklyn’s cultural and economic well-being. I look forward to working with my elected colleagues and local stakeholders to advance this proposal.”

Coney Island Boardwalk

Section of Boardwalk in amusement area under repair, Coney Island. March 13, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

During the Council members first year in office they listened to constituents complaints about the already conpleted concrete sections of the boardwalk and tried to get the City to agree to a moratorium until further environmental studies could be done. However, Daniel Zarrilli, head of the Office of Recovery and Resiliency, a holdover from the Bloomberg administration, told the City Council in June: “The use of concrete in boardwalks is not going to change at this point, is a sound decision and that stands,” according to the New York Daily News.

Coney Island Boardwalk

Section of Coney Island Concretewalk at West 36th Street near Sea Gate. June 22, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The petition will be submitted to the Mayor’s office and the LPC as part of the councilmen’s argument for designating the 2.7-mile boardwalk along the Brighton Beach and Coney Island waterfront as a Scenic Landmark. Among New York City’s official Scenic Landmarks are Central Park, Fort Tryon Park, Prospect Park, Eastern Parkway and Ocean Parkway.

“For nearly a century, Coney Island’s wooden boardwalk has provided the public with a rustic observation platform, a cool, soft, raised promenade that captures ocean breezes and affords a respite from New York City’s hard concrete jungle,” said Coney Island History Project director Charles Denson. “Much like the unfortunate destruction of Penn Station before it could be landmarked, the ‘concrete solution’ to the Boardwalk’s maintenance problems is shortsighted and ill advised. This historic structure must be protected and preserved.”

Riegelmann Boardwalk

Riegelmann Boardwalk Sign at Stillwell Avenue, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita

Related posts on ATZ…

December 8, 2014: City Councilman’s Proposal to Landmark the Boardwalk Could Halt Concretewalk

March 22, 2012: The Coney Island-Brighton Beach Concretewalk Blues

March 9, 2012: The 10 People Who Will Decide the Fate of Coney Island Boardwalk

December 27, 2010: Photo of the Day: First Snow on Coney Island Boardwalk

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Ruby's Bar & Grill, Coney Island. May 28, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Ruby's Bar & Grill in Coney Island. May 28, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Despite the Monday Morning Massacre of the Boardwalk businesses, Halloween was not Ruby’s last day after all. The bar’s devotees have put out a call via Facebook and email to “all Ruby’s family and friends”: Ruby’s will open, possibly for the last time, on Saturday, November 6th. “We are not going quietly, ” Rubys host said in an email. “Come out and show your support.” The rally/party begins around 12:30 pm and goes on till 6 pm or later.

On Facebook, supporters were urged to bombard Zamperla, the Mayor and local pols, and the Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC) with e-mails and phone calls. “Ruby’s has been told they have 15 days to get out. If you want to see them stay they need your help please CALL or send letters.” A petition “Renew Ruby’s Lease” is on the Petition Site as well as Facebook. By 1 am on Wednesday morning, the petition had nearly 200 signatures. The goal is 10,000, but time is short. The petition begins…

Dear Mayor Bloomberg and Mr. Ferrari,

It has been brought to my attention that a historic piece of Coney Island is being kicked out. How does a business that has been there since 1934 get kicked out?

The Last Night at Ruby's Bar. October 31, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

The Last Night at Ruby's Bar. October 31, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

While one of our Facebook friends said she “unliked” the CIDC’s very popular “Coney Island” page in protest, others went there to post links to the petition or voice their displeasure. “I’m posting to protest the eviction of Ruby’s from Coney Island, a 76-year-old family business that is being cruelly ousted,” one poster wrote. “If this plan goes forward, I hereby pledge not to patronize any of the newly-developed businesses and will tell my family, friends, and colleagues to do the same.” UPDATE: This afternoon, the CIDC asserted control over their “Coney Island” page by removing some, but not all, of the links posted by irate fans and removing the link button. “I guess you want to silence us hmm..,” a poster wrote.

Nine small businesses on the Boardwalk are getting the boot from City-owned land in Coney Island with nary a peep nor a press release from the CIDC/NYCEDC. It seems to us that all of a sudden the City is a very silent partner in its much touted and (until now) highly regarded public-private partnership with the amusement operator. Instead of holding the usual joint press conference, the City is distancing itself from the bad news and letting Zamperla play the role of the bad guy.

According to the NYCEDC’s Coney Island Amusement Operator RFP, which was won by Zamperla in February: “Responses to this RFP should articulate whether they include or exclude these [Boardwalk] structures or footprints, beginning at the earliest in Year 2 of operations.” But it also says “The Selected Respondent may propose to include subtenants for portions of their proposed operations, but such subtenants, and such subtenant agreements, shall be subject to NYCEDC approval.”

In other words, the City, which owns the property, has final say which businesses come or go.

At Ruby's Bar: Harpo Marx & Coney Island: Lost and Found.  April 16, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

At Ruby's Bar: Harpo Marx & Coney Island: Lost and Found. April 16, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

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Related posts on ATZ…

May 22, 2013: Photo Album: Welcome Back, Paul’s Daughter & Ruby’s Bar!

May 19, 2012: Paul’s Daughter & Ruby’s Bar Reopen on Saturday, Restored Signs to Return!

April 16, 2012: Art of the Day: Fresh Corn on the Cob at Ruby’s Bar & Grill

November 1, 2010: Out With the Old in Coney Island: Only 2 of 11 Boardwalk Businesses Invited Back

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Save Coney Island volunteer collecting signatures on Mermaid Parade Day in Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Save Coney Island volunteer collecting signatures on Mermaid Parade Day in Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The grassroots group Save Coney Island says this is your final chance to make your voice heard prior to the City Council’s vote on the City’s rezoning plan. You can sign the group’s petition here and learn about the group’s position here.

ATZ received an email from Save Coney Island that they would be winding up their online petition drive this week. Organizers plan to submit the results of the online and paper petitions to City Council by the middle of next week.

Our online petition will complement the thousands of signatures that we’ve collected on the ground (somehow, the interweb has proven a poor substitute for the old boots on the ground approach). As we prepare to deliver our signatures to Council members, we have had to switch our petition from the old site to a new one that collects the information necessary for us to sort signatures by Council district.

Please take a moment to transfer your signature to our new petition (even if you already signed the old one). In the next couple of days, we will sort the signatures by council district and deliver them to the appropriate representatives, asking them to fix the City’s plan or, barring that, kill it mercilessly.

As previously reported, the group rallied on the steps of City Hall asking the City to expand the acreage for outdoor rides and amusements, keep high-rises out of the central amusement district, protect small businesses, create amusement jobs and preserve Coney Island’s historic structures such as Nathan’s and the Shore Theater.

UPDATE: When I signed the online petition, a window appeared requesting a PayPal donation to the site that hosts the petition. But you do NOT have to donate to sign. I closed the window and that was the end of it.

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