Preservation Issues

Conservancy Presses Case for Coney Island Historic District

This Memorial Day weekend, Coney Island’s rides will once again thrill thousands of visitors, but Coney’s historic legacy faces a severe threat. A new Luna Park is scheduled to open, featuring 19 new rides that will recall the fantastic roller coasters and amusements of the past. Unfortunately, Coney’s oldest buildings might be demolished before the summer is over. The Conservancy is pressing for designation of a Coney Island Historic District that would preserve buildings along Surf Avenue, the Main Street of Coney Island.

These historic buildings, such as the 1880s Grashorn Building and the 1920s Bank of Coney Island Bank, are a link to Coney’s century of entertaining visitors and New Yorkers alike, and they are a link to a revitalized Coney Island. Developer Joe Sitt, who owns several parcels along Surf Ave. has made public plans to replace them.

The Shore Theater and the (former) Childs Restaurant building, which now houses the non-profit community group Coney Island USA, are being considered for designation as individual landmarks by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (click here to read the Conservancy’s statement of support), but up to eight other buildings including Nathan’s Famous, America’s first fast food restaurant, face demolition.

Click here to let LPC Chair Robert Tierney know that you do not want to see Coney’s architectural heritage lost forever.