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Luna Park – Former Wonder of Coney Island, A Place that Matters

luna park coney island brooklyn new yorkCurrently a “ghost site”, Luna Park opened in 1903 as the second of Coney Island’s three great amusement parks. Its breathtaking rides, seaside location, graceful physical spaces, thousands of electric lights and the fantasy it all created thrilled New Yorkers for decades until fires in 1944 and 1945 closed the park down. Luna Park may be gone but the Coney Island of yesteryear hasn’t entirely disappeared yet, thanks to the sustained advocacy and ingenuity of its many creative supporters. The Parachute Jump, Wonder Wheel and Cyclone were all designated as NYC landmarks in the late 1980s and the latter two are still going strong. The city purchased and renovated the B&B Carousel rather than let it be sold off. Coney Island USA is keeping alive the old sideshow traditions and creating new traditions like the Mermaid Parade. This year, public officials, private developers, politicians, local advocates, the community board and others will be contending for influence over the future of the site. To hear about future events regarding the future of Coney Island here are some useful links: * Coney Island Development Corp. * Coney Island USA * Coney Island History Project * NYC Dept. of City Planning * Brooklyn Daily Eagle * Gotham Gazette Please tell your friends about this place of history, memory, and culture and invite them to join the Place Matters e-mail list.