NY1 Exclusive:

Historic Carousel Is Jewel Of New

Coney Island Park


As the city starts construction on a new park next to the Coney Island boardwalk, NY1 has an exclusive sneak peek at its design, which includes a historic carousel that is a neighborhood landmark. Borough reporter Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.*

The B&B Carousel, a fabled part of Coney Island history, used to sit on Surf Avenue. Now, developers will place it next to the landmark Parachute Jump, in a two-story pavilion with folding glass doors that open out toward the boardwalk.

The designer, David Rockwell of Rockwell Group, explains that he wants to have the famed amusement park’s history mingle with the fun.

<i>The carousel in 2005.</i>

The carousel in 2005.

“We’re treating the carousel and the 50 amazing original horses and two chariots as kind of a jewel offset with this round building,” says Rockwell. “And around the perimeter, when you’re on the carousel, there will be a small installation looking at the history of Coney Island.”

The carousel will sit in a newly created Steeplechase Plaza. The city starts construction of the 2.2-acre park this week.

“It’s a wonderful little park off the boardwalk that will allow people a place to hang out. There’s a very shaded grove of trees down the hill, and it’s the first public part of reimagining Coney Island,” says Rockwell.

The city reimagined the more than 90-year-old wooden carousel operating in Coney Island’s future. Back in 2005, Mayor Michael Bloomberg bought the carousel for nearly $2 million, when it was up for sale. It was old but still operational.

The carousel is being restored in Ohio to make its grand return to a $30 million Steeplechase Plaza, which sits in the the footprint of the former Steeplechase amusement Park.

“The parachute jump has always been this amazing icon, but now you’re going to get to enter Steeplechase Plaza underneath it. And as you peek through it, it’ll pull you into the park,” says Rockwell.

The city says the park and carousel will be ready for the 2013 season.

* The blog is waiting on a photo of the rendering of the new building


Blogger’s Note:

 The carousel’s spelling was “Carousell”.  On July 4, 2001, Mike Saltzstein passed away at the age of 60, after operating the beautiful “catch the ring” carousell for more than a quarter of a century.  The Carousell was later sold to the City of NY, dismantled and went through extensive renovation.  I think it fitting that the carousell have a plaque honoring Mike for his dedication and devotion to this beautiful mechanical wonder.



Thursday, November 17, 2011; Posted: 05:11 PM  – by BWW News Desk – Broadwayworld.com

Coney-Island-USA-Purchases-New-Building-20010101Coney Island USA, operators of the last stationary 10-in-1 Sideshow in the  nation, the Coney Island Museum, and the Mermaid Parade, is pleased to announce  the purchase of the Denny’s Ice Cream building (1214 Surf Avenue). The purchase  was finalized on Monday, November 14, 2011.

Denny’s Ice Cream is immediately next-door to Coney Island USA’s landmarked  headquarters (1208 Surf Avenue) and guarantees space for Coney Island USA’s  long-term growth. Immediate plans call for the continued operation of  Denny’s business while Coney Island USA begins work with architects to transform  the space into a new exhibition and special events venue which will be available  for weddings, performances, and special events. Coney Island USA will continue  the tradition of storefront retail on Surf Avenue even after the space is made  available for artistic programming. Coney Island USA Executive Artistic Director  Dick Zigun said, “By owning both of these properties, Coney Island USA has  guaranteed that 100-years from now, Coney Island will remain a quirky and  exciting place for live performance and spectacle.”



Before reading today’s article about Boardwalk busineses auctioning off their wares, I thought it appropriate to add this song by Bob Dylan.  Read the NY Daily News article after the lyrics. 

The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Bob Dylan

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched
to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start
swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your
eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the
wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who that it’s namin’
For the
loser now will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who
has stalled
There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake
your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the
new one if you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
rapidly fadin’
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they
are a-changin’

Going once, going twice…Iconic

Coney Island Memorabilia Goes to

 the Highest Bidder

Boardwalk businesses like Cha Cha’s Bar that lost their leases put items up for auction

BY Erin Durkin
New York Daily News, Wed. Nov. 4, 2011

The famous Cha Cha's Bar and Cafe on the Coney Island Boardwalk is being forced to auction off most of its property after failing to get a new lease. Todd Maisel, Photographer/New York Daily News

Todd Maisel/New York Daily News

The famous Cha Cha’s Bar and Cafe on the Coney Island Boardwalk is being forced to auction off most of its property after failing to get a new lease.

 Piece by piece, bits of the Coney Island Boardwalk’s storied past were put on the auction block this week and sold off to the highest bidder.

A white upright piano went up for sale, along with a Stuff-your-own-teddy bear machine, a disco ball, a fog-making machine and piña colada and funnel cake stands, as businesses slated to be evicted from their Boardwalk spots sold off their wares.

There were dusty speakers, weathered beer signs, bar stools, cigar boxes, and plates painted with images of Campbell’s soup cans.

“I’m selling these neon signs, one, two, three, four, five,” rattled off auctioneer Joe Benigno. “Can’t get these no more, guys.”

A small crowd of bargain hunters gathered to snap up the items. Among them were memorabilia dealers, business owners looking for supplies, and curiosity seekers looking to spend a few bucks on a beat-up artifact of the iconic Boardwalk.

“People want to get old-fashioned stuff for their bars, memorabilia that was part of Coney Island,” said Benigno, of Best Buy Auctioneers, who conducted the sale along with Vincent J. Casale & Co.

Two of the businesses initially hit with eviction notices by amusement company Zamperla – Ruby’s Bar and Paul’s Daughter – have since been offered eight-year leases to stay. But others are facing the end of the line – and are cleaning house.

Cha Cha’s Bar and Coney Island Souvenirs auctioned off whatever they could sell, while Ruby’s offered up some unneeded items.

“They outright turned me down,” bar owner John “Cha Cha” Ciarcia said of the landlord. “They’re not willing to discuss anything with me.”

So, a pair of blenders from behind the bar sold for a dollar a piece, and a six-foot-high Coors beer sign for $10.

“Glass racks, $25 apiece on these. You just need to clean them up – they’re gorgeous,” Benigno said.

Boardwalk fixture Johnny Corona, 55, took a break from sunning himself on a beach chair – beer in hand, ignoring the early November chill – to buy an illuminated cocktail sign. “We’re regulars…I go back here at least 11 years,” he said. “This is sad.”

Dave Berger, 43, of Ocean City, L.I., bought a guitar, a keyboard, and speakers.

“This is my first (auction),” he said. “It’s Coney Island (and) it’s about to be history.”

Benigno worked his way through Cha Cha’s, bidding out items at a rapid fire pace, until he reached the back of the bar.

“Anything else in here to sell?” he said.