Coney Island in Brooklyn

Wednesday, 10 April 2013 - 01:14 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, New York City
Reading Time:  5 minutes

© Bran

© Bran

Coney Island is a peninsula and beach on the Atlantic Ocean in southern Brooklyn. The site was formerly an outer barrier island of Long Island, but became partially connected to the mainland by land fill. Coney Island is possibly best known as the site of amusement parks and a major resort. The attractions reached their peak during the first half of the 20th century, declining in popularity after World War II and years of neglect. In recent years, the area has seen the opening of MCU Park and has become home to the minor league baseball team the Brooklyn Cyclones.

The neighborhood of the same name is a community of 60,000 people in the western part of the peninsula, with Sea Gate to its west, Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach to its east, and Gravesend to the north. Development on Coney Island has always been controversial. When the first structures were built around the 1840s, there was an outcry to prevent any development on the island and preserve it as a natural park. Starting in the early 20th century, the City of New York made efforts to condemn all buildings and piers built south of Surf Avenue, with the local amusement community opposing the city. Eventually a settlement was reached where the beach was declared as not beginning until 1,000 ft (300 m) south of Surf Avenue, the territory marked by a city-owned boardwalk, while the city would demolish any structures that had been built over public streets in order to reclaim beach access.

Freak Show © David Shankbone Nathan's Hot Dogs © J. Reed Snack Shops © Billy Hathorn Sea Gate aerial view © U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Coney Island Panorama seen from Coney Island Pier © Jeev7882 © Bran
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Coney Island Panorama seen from Coney Island Pier © Jeev7882
In 2003, Mayor Michael Bloomberg took an interest in revitalizing Coney Island as a possible site for the 2012 Olympics. When the city lost the bid for the Olympics, revitalization plans were rolled over to the Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC), which came up with a plan to restore the resort. Shortly before the CIDC’s plans were released, a development company, Thor Equities, purchased all of Bullard’s western property, sold it to Taconic Investment Partners, and used much of the proceeds to purchase or offer to purchase every piece of property inside the traditional amusement area. In September 2005, Thor went public with a plans to build a large Bellagio-style hotel resort surrounded by rides and amusements. Plans of the hotel showed it covering the entire amusement area from the Aquarium to beyond MCU Park, and requiring the demolition of The Wonder Wheel, Cyclone, and Nathan’s original hot dog stand, as well as the new MCU Park. Late in 2006 Thor purchased Coney Island’s last remaining amusement park, Astroland, and announced plans to close it after the 2007 season and build a Nickelodeon-themed hotel on the site. In January 2007 Thor released plans for a new amusement park to be built on the Astroland site called Coney Island Park. In late 2007 Thor began to evict businesses from the buildings it owned along the boardwalk, but when one of the business owners complained, Thor reinstated their leases.

In early 2007, the Municipal Art Society launched the initiative ImagineConey, as discussion of a rezoning plan that highly favored housing and hotels began circulating from the Department of City Planning. City Planning certified the rezoning plan in January 2009. As of 2010 the plan was going through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process. Read more on ConeyIsland.com, Coney Island Development Corporation, NYC Parks – Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk and Wikipedia Coney Island. Photos by Wikipedia Commons.




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