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Thread: Coney Island "Renaissance"

  1. #376
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    I'm certain we can get one of the moderators to change the name. There's an avalanche of arbitrary thread changes and thread moving going on. I'm certain we can one moderator to do it. Who should we get?

  2. #377
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    Maybe, but it sure gets a lot of mileage put on it.
    "Ba-dum-bum - Kissssh!"

  3. #378

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    Isn't having a hotel going to be just as bad as apartments for the consumer? You're still dealing with all this noise from the amusement park. Time shares, please. Otherwise, I think Sitt is making a somewhat decent effort. It's just he's relying on residential type properties too much, or atleast, putting them too close to the amusement park. I'd rather see Randalls Island be the water park and Coney Island be the amusement park, but that's just my little fantasy.

  4. #379
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    I need to visit the board more often, it's hard to keep up. Here goes.

    "Right now the place is just a dump. It is that old wreck you see while driving upstate. Out on blocks in someones front yard with a "for sale" sign on it."
    Hey! I resent that! I was born and raised in West Virginia. You're trashing our state icon.

    And Zippy, I don't remember Steeplechase because I was still a child in West Virginia exploring junked cars, moonshine stills and outdoor privies. Had no shoes but a dirt floor which we shared with the livestock in the winter (Folks used to believe these tales . . . Isn't that sad.)

    I enjoy adding links to further background and history because I'm able to make a contribution, being neither architect, engineer, nor professional critic (they might not get paid, but by the way they criticize they must spend all their time doing it to become so expert.

    Even if someone were to pine for the good ole days of 1910, I don't think any of us could entertain that practically. But Coney Island offers more than a moldy history and a forlorn appearance. Its past flavors its present (bad but also good) and can help it achieve something of distinction for the future.

    That is why I pleaded for creativity, imagination, and stimulation as key components to whatever might rise along the seashore. I would prefer a noble experience that permitted the mixing of the classes. Once New York built something sublime and elegant like Central Park, then too, it built today's Times Square. But as far apart as they are in experience, both are quintessentially New York and flooded with people who delight in them.

    That's a tall order for Coney Island and perhaps too much to hope for. But wasn't that part of the charming idiocy behind the new "hat/air dress/Jonah's whale" for the Aquarium? -- Something with Coney outrageousness to call attention to a dowdy attraction?

    I actually support new housing at Coney, but not in the amusement area, or at least not along the Boardwalk. For so many Manhattan projects, people here have bemoaned not going for the "big idea" -- the grand design that epitomized the Golden Age of New York followed by the broad and reaching scope of Moses (Mr.) himself.

    Now a days, a project doesn't receive constructive criticism and conditional support, but outright hatred. The developer is demonized and only the pure in heart may attain paradise (Ahem. I have to stamp your card first).

    Yes. Please ignore me. But somewhere in the piles of wasted threads, my meek little voice asked for creativity, imagination and stimulation -- Something of the heart of Coney that should beat into its future.

  5. #380
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    Good post. We like to get the hillbilly perspective every once in a while. (Only kidding...)

    Actually, I agree with all your points.

  6. #381

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    ^ He always makes sense. He's like Hof.

  7. #382

    Cool

    New Yorkers Wish Coney Island's Cyclone Happy 80th Birthday!



    June 26, 2007


    New Yorkers went for a thrill ride Tuesday on Coney Island's Cyclone to celebrate the coaster's 80th birthday.

    The coaster first opened on this day back in 1927 and has given millions of New Yorkers the ride of their lives ever since.

    A brass band played, stilt walkers showed off their talents, Miss Cyclone made an appearance, and some octogenarians took a ride, all for the birthday bash.

    "It still hasn't lost that feeling that it has. It's a feeling you get on none of the new coasters,” said Stan Fox of The Coney Island History Project. “You get in there and you become part of the ride, as it drops down and makes the turns. You become one with the ride, and you have the greatest view when you're on top of Coney Island beach and boardwalk.”

    “The interesting thing about the cyclone is back when I first rode it – and I was 13-years-old at the time okay and it was like 1939, the World's Fair was open – this was the smoothest roller coaster any place you went,” said 81-year-old Cyclone rider Ed Murman. “There were roller coasters all over Coney Island; none of them could compare to this one for smoothness."

    Longtime area resident Sandy Malachowsay says she never gets sick of the ride. She says the Cyclone is a beautiful part of growing up in the area.

    “I was a little girl and I lived in Brighton and I lived here all my life, and I love Coney Island,” said Malachowsay.

    The Cyclone was named a New York City Landmark in 1988 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

    http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index...id=1&aid=71107

  8. #383
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    Excerpted from The Gowanus Lounge:

    Wednesday, June 27, 2007

    Will the Freakenspeile Tower and Bizarre Bazaar Come to Coney Island?



    The Coney Island presentation made by developer Joe Sitt and by Thinkwell Creative Director Chris Durmick about Thor Equities Coney Island plans contained a number of new details. The presentation leaned heavily on the designs for Stillwell Avenue, the Bowery and a passage that has been dubbed Front Street as well as Coney Island Park. (The latter would replace Astroland.) It avoided mention and depiction of the hotels and time share buildings up to 40 stories in height and with nearly 1,000 rooms and units that would rise west of Stillwell Avenue.

    (Kinetic Carnival, who was also in attendance, offers an image slideshow of the presentation and well as a rundown.)

    Mr. Durmick, whose firm has been hired to design the project, chafed at comparisons that have been made to a "Las Vegas theme park." He said the firm was designing an "amusement park" and that "it must be authentic Coney Island. Every theme park in the world has a pedigree that's Coney Island." Mr. Sitt himself several times said that "We're not just building a fairytale garden." He described the product as "urban, New York and Coney Island."

    In its latest iteration, the plan would divide the amusement area into several "neighborhoods." Stillwell Avenue would serve as its main retail area. It will have an "Emporium" where visitors can buy tickets, burn photo CDs and rent lockers and strollers. It will also have "a vertical dark ride." There will be a giant elephant fountain outside.

    The feature sure to provoke discussion, however, is the planned Freakenspiele Tower ("Freakenspiele" is one of the few words that you can Google which will produce zero results.) The tower will have 40-foot LED screens on all four sides and a "launch tower ride" in the interior. It would be at the boardwalk end of Stillwell Avenue.

    Halfway down Stillwell toward the boardwalk, the developer plans a performance plaza. A glass-enclosed water park would be six stories above street level. In this vision, Stillwell avenue would be transformed into a "walking promenade" with street performers, bistros, shopping and a multiplex theater. The tall buildings on the west side of Stillwell Avenue would have street fronts of four-six stories, but would rise up to 40 stories.

    Mr. Durmick mentioned there would be another roller coaster in this vicinity, an "overhead steeplechase" that would be a high-speed launch roller coaster.

    The Bowery (previously unpublished rendering above) was described as Coney Island's "subculture suburb." "This place wants to be designed by the local people," Mr. Durmick said. "This is where the circus sideshow people would live." The would include a high tech "Vertical Fun House" and something called the "Bizarre Bazaar," which was described as a "sub-culture souk." We're not sure what a sub-culture souk is, but it sounds like it might be an attempted recreation of St. Mark's Place in the old days.

    The final element described by Mr. Durmick was Coney Island Park, the project that would replace Astroland. It would be an indoor-outdor park with 21 rides on multiple levels. It would include old school rides like the Tilt-A-Whirl as well as a new roller coaster called the Leviathan that is envisioned as looping through buildings and under the boardwalk. It would also include a 120 foot tall Aviator tower ride. W. Tenth Street would become a pedestrian area.

    "We want to create a whole menus of neighborhoods and flavors because this is Coney Island," Mr. Durmick said.

    The photo below, which is courtesy of Adrian Kinloch of the blog Brit in Brooklyn, shows Mr. Durmick on the left and developer Joe Sitt at the podium on the right.


  9. #384
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    Just think if Thor Equities would provide housing for the circus performers and freaks amongst their high-rise community. Just imagine: sharing the elevator with the bearded lady; getting your mail and chatting with the sword swallower; running the treadmill alongside a snake charmer; or running out for milk and running into "Shoot the Freak" on his way in with ice cream. Aaahh. Now that would be Coney Island luxury. Would they dare?

  10. #385
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Once I stayed at a hotel with Cirque de Soleil folks -- lots of Eastern Europeans -- moody, but liked to party. And for the most part a darned good looking gang.

  11. #386

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    Honestly, I don't think Sitt will build anything. All these drawings are just a circus illusion, he's got everyone hopped up on this stuff and once he gets the zoning changes he's going to flip the land and make a whole lot of easy $.

    1. Amusement parks are not profitable, especially in NYC
    2. Nobody is going to touch Coney Island until they can build High Rise Hotels, and Condos there like Miami.
    3. Sitt is not an idiot, he will never build anything that will lose money (like an amusement park).
    4. With global warming threatening coastal areas of east coast, only an idiot would take a risk building anything so close to the water. Especially when you wont be able to insure any of it

  12. #387
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    ^How come amusement parks are so unprofitable? Seems everytime I've been to one, I saw a lot of folks spending money.

    There seems to be a lot of them all around the country too, from north to south. Are you telling me those parks are all running charities, just in it for the laughs and good times?

  13. #388

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    Quote Originally Posted by MidtownGuy View Post
    ^How come amusement parks are so unprofitable? Seems everytime I've been to one, I saw a lot of folks spending money.

    There seems to be a lot of them all around the country too, from north to south. Are you telling me those parks are all running charities, just in it for the laughs and good times?
    There's a big amusement park a half-hour's drive from where I live. They make oodles of money.

    But they have a mechanism for taking your money that Coney Island doesn't have: an extremely steep admission fee to a gated compound (or a high-priced season's pass). Once inside, all rides are free, but there's a second mechanism that's an outgrowth of the first: all food concessions are owned by the management, and they charge five bucks for a frank and the same for a coke.

    To get their money's worth of rides, folks stay all day, enriching the management through food and beverage purchases --like the refreshment stand at the movies.

    Coney Island doesn't have this lucrative business model.



    ... But Disney World does.

  14. #389

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenious View Post
    1. Amusement parks are not profitable, especially in NYC
    Amusement parks are not profitable, eh? Then what do we call Six Flags, Disney World, Busch Gardens, Knott's Berry Farm, Sea World, etc.? Even a mini Six Flags sitting in the middle of a string of Texas highways is actually profitable.

    Of course, when it comes to Coney Island, it's been shadowed by time. When I look at it, it's to me a simple city looking park. A bit run down. It's nothing like the Jersey shore amusement parks (which are profitable too).

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenious View Post
    2. Nobody is going to touch Coney Island until they can build High Rise Hotels, and Condos there like Miami.
    Yeah, I don't quite understand developers these days. They think condos are all that. Hotels are alright because they help bring in tourism business. Disney re-doing Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island was a success (which lacks condos). [/quote]

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenious View Post
    3. Sitt is not an idiot, he will never build anything that will lose money (like an amusement park).
    How does a spanking new looking amusement park compared to the old looking Coney Island lose money? It's the whole point of re-developments these days. >_>

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenious View Post
    4. With global warming threatening coastal areas of east coast, only an idiot would take a risk building anything so close to the water. Especially when you wont be able to insure any of it
    Ever been to the Jersey shore? Atlantic City? Virginia Beach? Any coastal community with an amusement park right along its coast?

    I like Sitt's fantasy idea dream. Just the condo idea is also iffy with me. Just like someone here says. Let Randalls Island be a water park. Coney Island an amusement park/resort.

  15. #390
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    more at: http://www.gothamgazette.com/article...70611/200/2205


    Opportunity Around a Great Building

    By Ari Shalam

    In 2004, we looked around Coney Island and saw what it could be. We saw the new Stillwell Avenue subway station. We saw the Cyclones stadium, which was a great public investment although not necessarily planned the way we would have done it. We could see the Parachute Jump go into motion and the aquarium. We saw a lot of public investment and initiative.

    We saw the wonderful history of Coney Island. We saw the beaches. A lot of money had gone into rebuilding those beaches and the Boardwalk. And yet just behind the beaches, there’s all this land lying fallow. You have to ask yourself why. Some of that land was orphaned – cut off from other properties. In particular, the stadium development took land that might have been used for new amusements and cut it off from the amusements already there.

    The last thing we saw was a good transportation infrastructure. If New York City is going to accommodate the growth that it needs and the housing formation that the mayor has called, it has to site residential opportunities close to public transportation. Whether it is vehicular transportation or subway transportation, that is where the homes need to be. We need to have sustainable development in the city, and not develop things far away, where people have to drive.

    Our first acquisition was in the spring of 2005. The strategic plan came out just around that time. Everything that we are thinking about doing is fixed with that plan. We are going to do what we can to put it together and really bring about the reality of change in Coney Island, rather than some of the failed plans that have come and gone over the years.

    Now to something that is near and dear to my heart and to many of the people here: the Childs building. The Childs building is really one of the remarkable landmark structures of Coney Island. In the development community, you hear a lot of people say, “Gee, that shouldn’t be a landmark.” But it is. With the Childs building, there are no doubts. It is a wonderful building.

    There are a couple things about it that are particularly important. It happens to be at a place on the Boardwalk where there is a natural bend. Trying to draw people from the narrow, reduced footprint of the amusement area, around the stadium and into some of the more transitional areas, people will look down the boardwalk and see the Childs building. We see that as a kind of gateway piece.

    The Childs building has a great history. It was once part of the Childs restaurant chain. Since it closed in 1947, various people have owned it. The person we bought it from was a bookseller. It was an extraordinarily complicated transaction. The person did not really want to do anything with it. Many organizations have tried to talk to this owner. We were successful in August of 2006, finally consummating a long-term ground lease with the option to buy.

    We see it as a as a marquee food operation with catering and opportunities for people to come in and not only eat on kind of a passer-by basis, but actually have reservations and sit down. If you look over to Brighton Beach side, you see some restaurants that come out on the Boardwalk. As you walk by, they really pull you in.

    We have proposed restoring the fascia of the building. There are some beautiful medallions on there and great detail work. The interior of the building was a mess. It was dark and dingy. We have cleaned it up made it safer, installed security.

    We are trying to get in a position where it could be used very soon. Because we don’t know how the ultimate rezoning and development will occur on Coney Island, we have to be careful of what money we spend now. But we are working on a way to open up the historic parts on a temporary basis this summer or at least open up the front portions of the building for that.



    Childs Building: Restoring a onetime jewel of the Boardwalk

    One of the ideas we kicked around is to try to create access to a second floor, or the roof, for a catering facility. Wouldn’t it be great to have a wedding or an event and come out to the roof and look at the ocean? If you look at some of the old pictures, you can see that there was almost a beer garden up there. We’re going to try and restore that. But the plan for that building really has to be taken in context with everything that’s going to happen around it, not only the plans for the parachute jump, but also for Steeplechase Park which is a block or two away. We have to see what happens with the rest of Coney Island.

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