When Astroland first opened in 1962, it included two of the classic Coney Island rides: the Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel (left of center in this image). In 2006 the owners sold Astroland to a developer who had already assembled a large amount of land in Coney Island’s old amusement area. A short-term lease will allow Astroland to reopen next summer, but as this text goes to press, it remains unclear whether the developer’s plan for towering hotels, shops, restaurants, movie theaters, and high-tech entertainment will be accepted or rebuffed by city authorities.
In the past few years, attempts to revitalize Coney Island have increased; KeySpan Park and the new Stillwell Avenue subway station are the most obvious examples. While many agree that rejuvenation is necessary, voices have been raised against the prospect of turning Coney Island into a gentrified enclave for the well-off. New York City’s creation of a Coney Island Development Corporation in 2003 brought together city officials as well as local business and community leaders. This initiative indicated awareness of the importance of caring for the area’s traditional qualities and of keeping it available to a diverse audience while providing a wide-ranging plan for economic development that would include a year-round amusement district as well as many new residential opportunities. At this moment, it is uncertain what the result of these efforts will be.
- Artist: Stephen Salmieri, American, born 1945
- Medium: Gelatin silver photograph
- Dates: 1969
- Dimensions: Sheet: 11 x 14 in. (27.9 x 35.6 cm) Image: 10 x 13 in. (25.4 x 33 cm) (show scale)
- Signature: Signed in graphite verso "Salmieri"
- Inscriptions: Titiled in graphite verso " 1969 Coney Island"
- Museum Location: This item is not on view
- Accession Number: 82.201.46
- Credit Line: Gift of Edward Klein
- Rights Statement: © Stephen Salmieri
- Caption: Stephen Salmieri (American, born 1945). Coney Island, 1969. Gelatin silver photograph, Sheet: 11 x 14 in. (27.9 x 35.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Edward Klein, 82.201.46. © Stephen Salmieri
- Record Completeness: Best (84%)