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Coney Island Beach

Irving Underhill

The Coney Island beach was made public in 1915 after a long legal battle, and the boardwalk was finally constructed in 1923. Municipal baths replaced the private establishments, and the city added sand to fight erosion and create more beachfront. At this point the exclusive Seagate had long since separated from the main part of Coney, while the eastern end had gone out of fashion, with the last remaining resorts quickly disappearing. The Oriental Hotel closed in 1916, and Brighton Beach Hotel was razed a few years later. In the 1920s, many Eastern European Jews and Italian and Greek immigrants took up residence in the neighborhood adjoining the amusement district. Dreamland was long gone, and Luna somewhat declining, but Steeplechase was still a popular destination. In the background of this image, note the roller coaster and the Ferris wheel, the colorful Wonder Wheel from 1920 with its double ring of cars.
MEDIUM Gelatin dry glass plate negative
DATES 1924
DIMENSIONS 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 1996.164.8-B43615
CREDIT LINE Brooklyn Museum/Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection
RIGHTS STATEMENT © Estate of Irving Underhill
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CAPTION Irving Underhill (American, 1872-1960). Coney Island Beach, 1924. Gelatin dry glass plate negative, 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum/Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection, 1996.164.8-B43615. © Estate of Irving Underhill
IMAGE overall, 1996.164.8-B43615_glass_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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