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Coney Island Boardwalk Under Reconstruction. April 23, 2014. Photo © Tricia Vita

Today’s 1pm rally moved to Boardwalk pavilion at Brighton 4th St, few blocks west of Coney Island Ave, if still raining. Please spread the word!

After Bill de Blasio’s campaign rhetoric as the choice for voters who wanted to reject Bloomberg’s policies, we’re disappointed with the Mayor for not only continuing the Bloomberg-approved Concretewalk but failing to listen to local council members and the community. All year, letters and requests for an environmental study and a meeting to discuss the Coney Island-Brighton Beach Boardwalk with Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver were rebuffed. Finally a charade of a stakeholders’ meeting was hastily arranged on the day before New Year’s Eve.

On Monday evening, Councilman Mark Treyger, who represents Coney Island, and Councilman Chaim Deutsch, who represents Brighton Beach, put out a call for a rally and press conference on Sunday, January 18th.

Rally to Save Our Boardwalk!

COMMUNITY ALERT

Join Council Member Mark Treyger and Council Member Chaim Deutsch in the fight to preserve and protect the historic Brighton Beach and Coney Island Boardwalk.

YOUR help is needed to halt the plans to turn the Boardwalk into a concrete sidewalk with a center roadway for trucks.

PRESS CONFERENCE
WHEN: Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 1 PM
WHERE: On the Boardwalk at Coney Island Avenue

This project will destroy the character of our neighborhood, create dangerous conditions for children, seniors, joggers and everyone else who enjoys the Boardwalk.

The Boardwalk has been badly neglected and allowed to deteriorate. Yet the Parks Department refuses to repair it. Turning it into a concrete sidewalk with a center roadway is not the solution!

We have evidence that concrete will increase storm surge damage to our homes and businesses, yet the City and the Parks Department refuse to consider our safety. They just began ripping up a large section in Brighton Beach. This is only the beginning!

The Parks Department is refusing to listen to what the community wants.

OUR LIVES MATTER!

OUR NEIGHBORHOOD MATTERS!

Come to the rally and preserve the Boardwalk!

For more information, contact:
Council Member Mark Treyger 718-373-9673

save the boardwalk

Related posts on ATZ…

December 20, 2014: Save the Boardwalk for Future Gens! Sign Brooklyn Pols Petition to Make it ‘Scenic Landmark’

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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Coney Island Funny Face insignia on Ladder Company 161 Fire Truck. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The fire trucks of Ladder Company 161 in Coney Island have a modern version of Steeplechase Park’s Funny Face and amusement rides as part of their insignia. Their slogan is “The Best Ride in Coney Island.” Now the ladder company, which opened in 1927 and is as old as the Cyclone roller coaster, is on the Mayor’s list of 20 New York City fire companies to be closed in July due to City budget cuts.

On Sunday, June 12, at 12 noon, City Councilman Domenic Recchia, Congressman Jerrold Nadler and Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny will join members of the community at a rally to save Ladder Company 161. The rally is being held outside the firehouse at 2929 West 8th Street off Surf Avenue.

Ever since the first Steeplechase Park burned down in 1907, Coney Island’s infamous fires have been in the headlines. Last May, the fire that destroyed Coney Island Arcade at Bowery and West 12th Street was the no. 1 story of “Amusing the Zillion’s Top 10 Coney Island News Stories of 2010.” . The arcade was a total loss and has since been demolished, but it was the only building damaged by the fire thanks to the fine work and fast response time of FDNY 161 and 153.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the fire that destroyed Dreamland Park. On May 27, 1911, the signal ‘TWO NINES’ was sounded for the first time in Brooklyn, calling out 33 companies and 250 men in a race to Coney Island.

“It’s tragic and ironic that the city is cutting a vital Coney Island ladder company on the 100th anniversary of the Dreamland fire, one of the worst disasters to strike a community known for deadly fires,” said historian Charles Denson. “Ladder Company 161 is essential to a neighborhood that’s jammed full of high-rises, has 15 million visitors a year, and has towering amusement rides that can only be reached by high ladders in an emergency.”

Upcoming rallies throughout the city are listed on the website of the Uniformed Firefighters of Greater New York.

Update, June 12th, 8:40 pm…

Coney Island photographer and resident Bruce Handy attended today’s rally and sent this link to his flickr slide show. All of the local pols were there. In addition to Councilman Recchia and Congessman Nadler, we noticed State Senator Diane Savino, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and several members of Community Board 13.

Update, June 14th…

The Brooklyn Eagle reports that “Ladder Co. 161 is the only tower ladder in Coney Island and one of only a dozen 95-foot ladders citywide. It is responsible for 2.5 miles of beach, businesses and a major concentration of high-rises, many of which house seniors in an isolated area.”

Update, June 29th…

DNAinfo reports “The City Council voted in favor of a $66 billion budget deal Wednesday that saves teachers’ jobs and prevents fire company closures, but forces other cuts across the board.”

dreamland fire

The 100th Anniversary of the Dreamland Fire. Coney Island History Project Exhibition Center. Photo © Charles Denson Archive


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On Saturday, we joined “Hands Across the Sand” on Coney Island’s Beach. The June 26th event was part of a worldwide protest against offshore drilling. The line in the sand included people who had come to Coney Island specifically for the noontime protest as well as beach-goers who spontaneously joined the event. Look for more photos in our flickr set.

Hands Across the Sand: Coney Island joins worldwide protest against offshore drilling. June 26, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

Hands Across the Sand: Coney Island joins worldwide protest against offshore drilling. June 26, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

Charles Denson and Jimmy Prince Join Hands Across the Sand. Coney Island, June 26, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

Charles Denson and Jimmy Prince Join Hands Across the Sand. Coney Island, June 26, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

Hands Across the Sand: Coney Island joins worldwide protest against offshore drilling. June 26, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

Hands Across the Sand: Coney Island joins worldwide protest against offshore drilling. June 26, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

Hands Across the Sand: Coney Island joins worldwide protest against offshore drilling. June 26, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

Hands Across the Sand: Coney Island joins worldwide protest against offshore drilling. June 26, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

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Mermaids carrying signs that said “Oil Makes My Scales Fall Off!” were among the dozens of BP oil spill-themed groups in Saturday’s Mermaid Parade. This Saturday at 11 am, New Yorkers will have a chance to join “Hands Across the Sand” on Coney Island’s Beach in an international protest against offshore drilling. According to a map on the group’s website, the event is being held on June 26 in all 50 states and 20 countries. Participants will gather at 11 am and join hands at 12 noon in their local time zones.

A statement on Hands Across the Sand NYC’s Facebook page says: “In the wake of the catastrophic BP OIL SPILL that has devastated the Gulf of Mexico and put the entire North Atlantic Ocean at risk: JOIN thousands around the world and draw OUR line in the sand: NO to OFFSHORE DRILLING/YES to CLEAN ENERGY.”

Hands Across the Sand began in February in Seaside, Florida, with a chain of people standing hand in hand on the beach to symbolize a wall of opposition to offshore drilling in Florida. The BP oil spill spurred the creation of Saturday’s worldwide event. Hands Across the Sand on Coney Island’s beach is one of 645 events being held in the U.S. on June 26.

Mermaid Parade 2010: Oil Makes My Scales Fall Off! Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

Mermaid Parade 2010: Oil Makes My Scales Fall Off! June 19, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

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Call to Action: Rally for Preservation on Wednesday, May 12

WHEN: Wednesday, May 12th at 10am SHARP

WHERE: City Hall Steps – 4,5,6, N or R Trains to City Hall

Tomorrow morning, Save Coney Island joins the Historic Districts Council and other preservation groups at a citywide rally at City Hall.

“Save Coney Island believes this summer should be about REVITALIZATION (with the opening of the new Luna Park) and PRESERVATION – NOT about “DEMOLITION,” said an e-mail from the grass-roots group. “Please join us. This will be a perfect opportunity to put Coney Island’s preservation battle in the citywide spotlight. We need you to make your voice heard.”

ATZ is sorry that rumors of Joe Sitt’s plans to demolish historic buildings which we reported in “Thor’s Coney Island: Tattered Tents, Deathwatch for Historic Buildings” (ATZ, April 21, 2010) have turned out to be true. On May 3, Thor Equities spokes-tool Loren Riegelhaupt told the Brooklyn Paper: “This summer is going to be about the demolition.” The reference is to the planned demo of four historic buildings in Coney Island owned by Joe Sitt.

Shore Hotel Nature's Paradise by the Sea. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Shore Hotel Nature's Paradise by the Sea. April 26, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The endangered buildings are the Grashorn, Coney Island’s oldest; the former Bank of Coney Island; the Henderson Building; and the Shore Hotel. The Grashorn and Henderson were nominated for landmark designation by Coney Island USA and all four buildings would be part of an historic district proposed by Save Coney Island. Stefan Friedman, another Thor spokes-tool, told the paper: “These buildings were thoroughly reviewed by the city [before] last year’s rezoning and determined to have no significant historic value whatsoever. Some of these buildings are asbestos-infested ramshackle buildings that pose a very real risk to the local community.”

We’ll counter Thor’s disinformation campaign by referring you to “Destined for Demolition? Historic Buildings Owned By Thor Equities” in the right column of our blog for articles by the Municipal Art Society, Vanishing New York and ATZ on the four buildings in question and Save Coney’s list of historic landmarks. As for Thor’s empty lots, check out “Thor’s Coney Island: What Stillwell Looked Like Before Joe Sitt”

The Historic Districts Council is hosting the rally…

We will be having speakers from neighborhoods across the city talking about their efforts and giving voice to the fact that people want preservation. For the past four years, HDC has helped organize a preservation day at City Hall that dozens of neighborhood preservationists have attended to show the strength of the preservation community. Through our efforts, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has grown in staff and has designated more properties in all five boroughs than ever – they designated more properties in 2008 than they had in any year since 1990. This record of accomplishment needs to continue; dozens of historic neighborhoods throughout New York City are still unprotected and prey to tear-downs and unregulated development. If we’ve learned one thing in 45 years of preservation practice in New York, it’s that landmark protection is good for the city. Without landmark protection, SoHo and Tribeca wouldn’t exist, the theater district would be an office park and Brooklyn Heights would be filled with high-rises. But as much as the LPC has accomplished, there’s still much more to do.

Coney Island’s Shore Theater and Coney Island USA’s Building (the former Childs Restaurant on Surf Avenue) are being considered for landmark designation by the LPC.

Thor-owned Henderson Building Being Cleaned Out, May 8, 2010. Photo © Capt. Nemo/Magical Theme Parks

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Related posts on ATZ…

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

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

March 8, 2010: March 23: Rescuing Coney Island’s Shore Theater from 35 Years of Neglect

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

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World Famous Bob Speaking at Save Coney Island Rally, Brooklyn Borough Hall. Photo © jane_jacobs_saves_coney via flickr
World Famous Bob Speaking at Save Coney Island Rally, Brooklyn Borough Hall. Photo © jane_jacobs_saves_coney via flickr

I’ve never had anything against tall skinny buildings. I’ve always thought Manhattan was beautiful. But in Brooklyn I just thought they’d like to keep it short and wide and that’s why I live here.

–Burlesque artist World Famous BOB, emceeing Sunday’s Last Chance to Save Island Rally.

The Burlesque at the Beach bombshell held up “Before” and “After” renderings to show the folly of the City’s rezoning plan. The plan would allow high-rises of up to 27 stories along the south side of Surf Avenue, walling off and casting shadows across the world famous seaside amusement district.

BOB urged New Yorkers to call their City Council members before the full Council votes on the plan this Wednesday. “I am a huge fan not only of Brooklyn, but specifically of Coney Island,” said the New York Burlesque Festival’s “Most Inspiring” performer. “There’s no better way I would personally like to spend a Sunday afternoon than with a bunch of people who not only love Coney Island but love it enough to actually came down here and request that it get saved.” If you missed the rally, here’s how you can request that it get saved.

ATZ will dutifully phone our Council member a third time. But we would feel more confident about the outcome of Wednesday’s Council meeting if the World Famous BOB were City Council Speaker instead of Bloomberg’s henchwoman Christine Quinn! Last week Coney Island’s Councilman Domenic Recchia said in a statement posted on his blog, “I know that there are those who would like to see lower buildings on the south side of Surf Avenue. We just couldn’t make this work and will be moving forward with project that you see today.”

On the plus side, the Councilman’s post mentioned discussions with the administration about expanding the area for outdoor amusements. “I hope that by the time the entire City Council votes on this plan, on July 29th, I will have great news for everyone.” We’re sitting on the edge of our seats till then, when presumably we’ll find out what kind of deal the City is currently cutting with real estate speculator Thor Equities behind closed doors.

Speakers at the Last Chance to Save Coney rally also included Juan Rivero of Save Coney Island, Mermaid Parade founder and Coney Island’s permanently unelected “Mayor” Dick Zigun, “Coney Island: Lost & Found” author and historian Charles Denson, Cyclone roller coaster operator and former Astroland owner Carol Hill Albert, Miss Cyclone Angie Pontani, Lola Staar Souvenir Boutique owner Dianna Carlin, activist and author Kevin Powell, Green Party mayoral candidate Rev. Billy Talen and musician Amos Wengler singing his anthem “Save Coney Island.”

Last Chance to Save Coney Island Rally, Brooklyn Borough Hall. Photo © jane_jacobs_saves_coney via flickr

Mayoral candidate Rev Billy Talen Speaking at Last Chance to Save Coney Island Rally, Brooklyn Borough Hall. Photo © Robert & Robbie Bailey via jane_jacobs_saves_coney flickr

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Related posts on ATZ…

December 18, 2009: Ciao Coney Island! Will Ruby’s, Shoot the Freak, Astrotower & Other Oldies Survive?

October 9, 2009: A Rare Peek Inside Endangered Old Bank of Coney Island

July 9, 2009: Video: A Friendly but Urgent PSA from Coney Island’s ‘Mayor’

June 11, 2009: Coney Island Amusement Advocates Rally for More Acreage for Outdoor Rides

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Father and Son on Way to Last Chance to Save Coney Rally at Borough Hall. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Father and Son on Way to Last Chance to Save Coney Rally at Borough Hall. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Before the Save Coney Rally got started we asked this little boy what he loved about Coney Island. “The up and down ride!” he said. “He means the Free Fall in Deno’s,” explained his Dad, who added that they missed Astroland’s Water Flume. The log flume, which was dismantled when Astroland closed in September 2008, was one of our faves too. All that’s left are souvenir photos and historic signage.

We’re glad the City Council amended the zoning plan to ensure that the Vourderis family will continue to own and operate Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. What about the rest of Coney Island? An amendment introduced by Councilman Tony Avella to expand the area for open-air amusements and restrict the height of the high rises on the south side of Surf was voted down. Save Coney Island is urging New Yorkers to phone their Council members to “fix the plan” before the full Council vote this Wednesday, July 29.

At today’s Last Chance to Save Coney Island rally on the steps of Borough Hall, Juan Rivero quoted some of the comments from the group’s petition drive. “When you’re asking a thousand people about Coney Island, you’re going to get a thousand different stories and a thousand different reasons why Coney Island must be preserved as an affordable amusement destination. Here are a few”:

Coney Island is the Grand Central Station and the Brooklyn Bridge of amusement parks in America—Alan Solomon

It was a wild carnival place but it has a rich history and it should be preserved and celebrated, not destroyed– Jacqueline Underwood

When our daughter was 2 years old in 1957 we brought her to Coney Island and we shall never forget her comment: “Everything I love is here.” –Rita Brettschneider

July 26 Last Chance to Save Coney Rally. Photo © jane_jacobs_saves_coney via flickr

July 26 Last Chance to Save Coney Rally. Photo © jane_jacobs_saves_coney via flickr

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Related posts on ATZ…

December 18, 2009: Ciao Coney Island! Will Ruby’s, Shoot the Freak, Astrotower & Other Oldies Survive?

October 9, 2009: A Rare Peek Inside Endangered Old Bank of Coney Island

July 27, 2009: Tall, Skinny & Destined to Kill Coney Island: High Rises on South Side of Surf

July 19: Coney Island Hip-Hop Anthem: AMO1’s Fight for Your Right to Save Coney

July 9, 2009: Video: A Friendly but Urgent PSA from Coney Island’s ‘Mayor’

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