Coney Island (Luna Park) Development Discussion Thread

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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby larrygator » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:26 pm

simon8899 wrote:I wonder why the tower wasn't fixed. I know some parks having towers like this who are about the same age - Hansa-Park, Heide-Park, Europa-Park - and there were never any issues when I was there.

And even at higher winds: I've never seen the Hansa-Park tower sway and I doubt its designed to do that...


The Astroland Tower was designed to sway. It only recently started swaying too much.

My understanding behind it never being fixed was a combintation of:
1 - It being too costly to fix (it last ran in 2007, so 3 years of non-operation may have caused additional damage)
2 - Operating it would have required a bigger footprint (to bring the cabin all the way to the ground and fence off a queue area)
3 - It ran infrequently at Astorland was never very popular
4 - Zamperla wanted to showcase their rides

If I remember correctly, CAI wanted to remove the Tower and the City of New York requested that it stay as a landmark. Since CAI is leasing the property they followed NYC's request.

Here is an article http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/crews_dismantling_portion_of_coney_QwaRUh0NtKIUpBeNgKdB6M with more detail:

Crews dismantle portion of Astrotower, causing July 4th havoc on Coney Island
Posted: 4:50 AM, July 4, 2013

Crews have spent the night dismantling a portion of Coney Island's Astrotower due to safety concerns over the aging, swaying attraction.

Those concerns left the roller coaster, Ferris wheel and other attractions idled Wednesday - and could keep them closed today.

"We're going to do everything we can to keep this park open," Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri said, but authorities said they needed to keep a chunk of it closed and even rope off part of Coney Island's famous boardwalk until they could be sure there was no danger.

While the beach, a carousel, some other amusements and Nathan's Famous — home of the July Fourth hot dog eating contest — were open, the developments had tourists trying to figure out whether to rejigger plans and vendors wishing they wouldn't have to.

"You've waited for a whole year. You just wait for this day," Victor Summers said as he stood next to the 3-D simulator ride he's operated in the shadow of the Astrotower since 1996.

"The Fourth of July — it's like Christmas for Coney Island."

The holiday cliffhanger centers on a spindle that has stood over Coney Island for nearly half a century, a beacon for a its beachfront entertainments and a memento of the space-race era in which many of them were built.

Installed in 1964, the Astrotower was a focal point of space-themed attractions that updated the beach resort and helped it endure tough years later on.

The tower was equipped with an observation car that looped around the top to offer visitors 360-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean and Brooklyn. It instantly became a New York classic — "the big bagel in the sky," a newspaper of the time called it, and the nickname stuck.

The structure closed to visitors in 2007, but the city made a point of saying the tower would remain when a new company took on the amusement park in 2010.

Now, a portion of it is coming down.

The hullaballoo began Tuesday afternoon, when someone called the fire department, concerned that the tower was swaying. The park was evacuated and shut down hours before its usual closing time as a precaution.

The needlelike structure was built to give somewhat in the wind to withstand storms, such as Superstorm Sandy last year. But recent work to remove the now-unused observation car took weight off the tower's tip and allowed it to sway more than usual, LiMandri said.

Officials found it was moving about 1.5 feet at the top, approaching the threshold of what it can safely withstand, he said, declining to give an exact figure.

Mayor Bloomberg said Wednesday morning initial assessments showed the tower was stable, and officials weren't yet certain but were optimistic. Some attractions, including the Coney Island Raceway and the B&B Carousell, reopened around noon.

But on Wednesday afternoon, police began closing down two blocks of the boardwalk and stretching tape around the block near the Astrotower, which shifted from time to time in the wind.

"I'm losing a ton of business. I understand it's safety purposes, but it's the wrong day," Billy Burke said as he closed up Paul's Daughter, the boardwalk hot dog stand where he has worked for 31 years. He'd bought triple the amount of supplies he lays in for a normal weekend.

But, he said, he understood the stakes.

"If that thing falls, it's going to be a disaster."

Burke and other locals are accustomed to seeing the structure waggle — "every year, people complain that it's moving," said Esther Sherman, who manages Lago Furniture across the street.

But some who had watched it Tuesday said they noticed the movement was more pronounced than normal.

"It's the first time I saw it swinging like that, back and forth. I was like, 'Oh, my God,'" said Tracy Mittleman, who has lived across the street all her 34 years.

And it was squeaking, "like it just wasn't oiled, like parts were rusting," added her mother, Noreen Mittleman, 53.
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby Meteornotes » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:07 am

Sucks that they had to close the area down on the 4th, but it sounds like it had become a serious safety hazard. Like someone in the article said, if the tower had fallen, it would have been a big disaster.

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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby fraroc » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:19 am

How many years has the AstroTower been SBNO? I'd say since 2007 but does anyone know for sure?

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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby gisco » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:53 am

fraroc wrote:How many years has the AstroTower been SBNO? I'd say since 2007 but does anyone know for sure?


The article says 2007 was the last time it was open to the public.

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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby USCoaster » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:54 pm

The video on the NY Daily News site has footage of the tower swaying and I can understand why they were concerned. It may be within the design limits of the tower, but if it continues long enough, it will begin to weaken the steel and could potentially become a more serious hazard in the future. Considering they have had 2 hurricanes in 2 years come very close to NYC, its probably safer to remove the problem while the weather is nice.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/astro-tower-coming-coney-island-article-1.1389974
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby larrygator » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:59 pm

I was stuck in traffic today so I diverted to Coney Island to check out five things:
The new B&B Carousell
The new rides at Luna Park
The state of the former Astroland Tower
Check out the look of the completely renovated original Nathan's
Finally visit Totonno's Pizzeria
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The B&B Carousell building
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with a beautiful carousel inside.
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It's a Coney Island original
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The lead horse is fancy and they plan to keep him that way.
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They surrounded the ride with old signs.
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This one is for Larry
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One of Luna Park's new rides: Water Mania
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and there's the other
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That's what left of the AstroTower
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The whole area is only about 40 feet by 20 feet. I'd be surprised if they could fit more than a Dippin Dot stand there
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For those who miss the Shoot the Freak paintball booth, there is now Shoot the Clown.
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Mega Whirl still sits there, rumored to be beyond repair due to saltwater damage.
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Nathan's was busy, just like old times.
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Totonno's is about two blocks from the amusements. One of the workers from Lombardi's started his business in 1924. The location has moved once and was closed for months due to Hurricane Sandy damage.
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Simple menu
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Fresh mozzarella, olive oil, grated cheese, tomato sauce and dough. That's it. There should be nothing else on a good pizza.
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Not my pie, but I know Robb likes the sausage. On his pizza.
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My delicious pizza. The place is closed Monday and Tuesday and other days the line is usually around the corner, but in 100 degree weather the locals were not eating pizza today.
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby CardCraze » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:11 pm

Thanks for the pictures Larry! The carousel looks beautiful, and so does that pizza! Also glad to see the redesigned Nathan's, looks like it should be able to move the line quicker than the old one, so that's always good as well.
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby larrygator » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:05 pm

CardCraze wrote:Thanks for the pictures Larry! The carousel looks beautiful, and so does that pizza! Also glad to see the redesigned Nathan's, looks like it should be able to move the line quicker than the old one, so that's always good as well.


They really did a good job with the B&B Carousell restoration.

If nothing else, the redesigned Nathan's is more organized making it easier for patrons to know where to lines up.
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby Generational » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:10 pm

Oh how I love Coney Island. I did the Shoot the Freak a few times a while back, and it was hilarious fun. Do they still have those fairground-esque rides such as Ring of Fire, etc?
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby sspaz1000 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:34 pm

Thanks for the pics Larry, Coney Island is looking good. Though now I'm hungry for good pizza and hot dogs. :lmao:
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