NY1 Exclusive:

Historic Carousel Is Jewel Of New

Coney Island Park

11/10/11

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

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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.

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HI!  Welcome to my Coney Island Blog.  This is the first entry.  Please be sure to check out the entries on the Blog, including Memorabilia, Steeplechase Park and more.  There’s a lot of interesting photos and history here.  If you have an image you would like to add, send me an e-mail at diane_howley@msn.com and I’ll include the photo with your name and caption.  NOTE:  Images with no copyright (c) were taken by me.  In addition, if you wish to purchase any of my images, please send me an email and I’ll give you further information.

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Original 1960’s Bumper Sticker

This Blog will capture the essence of Coney Island from its early days to present (not necessarily in chronological order) with captions, memories and expressions of what Coney Island means as a seaside attraction in Brooklyn, NY and the world.

From the 1930’s through the early 1960’s Rolling Chairs were the alternative to walking the Boardwalk.  Similarly, these chairs were used at Asbury Park and Atlantic City, NJ.

The Parachute Jump was moved from the 1939 World’s Fair (sponsored by Life Saver’s Candy) to it’s historic location on the Boardwalk.  (photographer unknown).  The following are other perspectives of this Icon.

Before renovation.

The Crown of the jump after being dismantled for restoration.

The Parachute Jump was lit for a very brief time before being switched off.

CHECK BACK FOR MORE IMAGES (current in preparation)…