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Posts Tagged ‘Steeplechase Plaza’

B&B Carousell Letter

B&B Carousell Letter Being Raised Into Place. May 23, 2013. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project flickr

The large-scale neon letters spelling B & B CAROUSELL with a double L, of course, went up on the historic ride’s new pavilion on the Boardwalk today. Charles Denson of the Coney Island History Project happened to be there to take this spectacular series of photographs. On Friday morning, the grand opening of Steeplechase Plaza and the return of the 1919 carousel to Coney Island will be celebrated by Mayor Bloomberg and other elected officials, local residents and invited guests. The carousel was saved from the auction block in 2005, when the Mayor came to Coney Island for a hastily arranged press conference to announce the City would purchase the ride for $1.8 million.

B&B Carousell Letter

B&B Carousell Letter Being Raised Into Place. May 23, 2013. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project flickr

“Dozens of carousels have left Coney Island forever but the B&B Carousell is the only one to actually leave and come back,” said Denson, when the first restored horse was exhibited last May at the Coney Island History Project. 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 except for the lead horse by M.C. Illions. Jimmy McCullough and Mike Saltzstein owned and operated the ride since the 1970s. Welcome home to the B&B!

B&B Carousell Pavilion

B&B Carousell Pavilion. May 23, 2013. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project flickr

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Steeplechase Plaza

B&B Carousell Pavilion Under Construction in Steeplechase Plaza, Coney Island. July 30, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

When the B&B Carousell reopens in Coney Island next season, the restored 1919 ride will spin in a glass pavilion next to the Parachute Jump. The progress of construction on the pavilion and its new home Steeplechase Plaza can be seen in the above photo. Large-scale neon lettering spelling B&B CAROUSELL will encircle the top of the completed pavilion. Coney Island’s last hand-carved carousel was saved from auction in 2005 when the City purchased it for $1.8 million from the McCullough family who operated it on the north side of Surf Avenue since the 1970s.

The Parachute Jump, the sole survivor of Steeplechase Park, is also a focal point of Steeplechase Plaza. The red, yellow and blue sheet metal panels and medallions at the base of the Jump are getting a redo as you can see in the photo below.

Construction at the Base of the Parachute Jump

Construction at the Base of the Parachute Jump. July 30, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

While fans of the Jump continue to hope that the landmark ride will someday be restored to operation, we don’t see that happening due to liability concerns and high costs. In an article that we wrote for Preservation Magazine in 2002, independent ride engineer and certified safety inspector Ed Pribonic expressed concerns about stress on the structure and the viability of reusing original components. “As a visual icon, it’s probably fine,” he said. “When you’re talking about turning it into an operating amusement ride that carries passengers and is subject to thousands of dynamic load cycles a day, then it becomes a different engineering problem.”

Besides, Coney Island is getting a 2.2 acre public plaza on the old Steeplechase site, not a new Steeplechase Park. According to the NYCEDC’s press release issued at the time of last November’s groundbreaking, the plaza will be the western gateway to the revitalized Coney Island and will be large enough to host a variety of events. For the first time, visitors will be able to walk directly underneath the Parachute Jump and gaze up at the latticework structure from the inside. The landmark will also get a new lighting scheme to “bring the bling to Coney Island,” in the words of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

Parachute Jump Gateway

Artist Rendering of Parachute Jump Gateway. NYC Economic Development Corporation

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August 2, 2012: New Building Breaks Ground Next to Coney Island’s Stillwell Terminal

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

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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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