Steeplechase Pavilion Coney Island History Project

WHAT'S NEW

Special Exhibit: "50th Anniversary of Fred Trump's Demolition of Steeplechase Pavilion" Opens May 28

The Coney Island History Project's first special exhibit of the 2016 season, opening on Memorial Day Weekend, will be "The 50th Anniversary of Fred Trump's Demolition of the Steeplechase Pavilion." A half century ago Coney's most beautiful and imposing structure was demolished by developer Fred Trump, Donald Trump's father. This exhibit examines in photos, ephemera, and oral history,...

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Featured Oral History Interviews

Gabriel Valencia

Twenty years as part of the family at Gregory & Paul's and Paul's Daughter

Steve Spak

Worked on a city ambulance for Coney Island Hospital in the late 1970's

Jodie Bell

Jodie Bell visits the Coney Island History Project and discovers a 1950s photograph of her Aunt, Rachel Bell, as Miss Coney Island

Misha Mokretsov

Founder and head coach at New York Fencing Academy in Coney Island

Marina Rubin

Ukrainian emigre writer and author of Stealing Cherries, a collection of flash fiction

Leon Borzykowski

Leon Borzykowski and his daughter Barbara Brown describe the family's escape from Poland to Coney Island after the Holocaust

Hall of Fame

Inventors, performers, impressarios, and community leaders - these are among the many pioneers and visionaries whose creativity and ingenuity helped shape and define Coney Island over the past century. Each year, the Coney Island Hall of Fame pays tribute to a selected group of honorees. Their contributions are highlighted in an exhibit of colorful banners accompanied by illustrated text panels detailing their fascinating lives.

Featured Video

The Childs Building: Coney Island

The mysterious Childs Restaurant Building, with its nautical-themed terra cotta decorations, has fascinated Coney Island visitors for years. Charles Denson 's film illustrates the structure's history and future. The Boardwalk landmark will reopen this summer as the Coney Island...

Ask Mr. Coney Island

Dear Mr. Coney Island...
Hello!  I found your website while looking through some old Coney Island photos. I saw a photo of Tony's Hotel on West 15th Street in Coney Island! It brought back so many memories. I spent the evening looking for a photo of the  Hotel Clement - located on the other side of the same street.   As a kid - during the late 50s and early 60s, I would accompany my grandmother to Coney Island from New Jersey.  She went to Coney Island each year for the beach and for the hot baths. The place for the baths was called Bushman, I think.We stayed each year for two weeks at the Hotel Clement. It was just down the street from Gargiulo's Restaurant and next door to a local Fire House. I didn't find any pictures of West 15th Street - other than Gargiulo's and Tony's Hotel.  Can you direct me to a site where I might find a picture of the Hotel Clement? I'd greatly appreciate it.    
- Anthony

Hello Anthony and Kevin,

Here is a photo of West 15th Street showing the Clement Hotel, Dempsey's Crown Bar, the Firehouse, and Gargiulos. All of these buildings except Gargiulo's Restaurant were demolished several decades ago. The firehouse was demolished on its 100th birthday in 1995. 

Walking Tours

 

"A fascinating, accurate, unexpurgated look at the World's Playground"

Eventbrite - Coney Island History Project Walking Tour - September-October 2014

Take a stroll through Coney Island's amusement district--past, present and future--with the Coney Island History Project. Our unique walking tours are based on History Project Director Charles Denson's award-winning book "Coney Island: Lost and Found," the interviews from CIHP's Oral History Archive, and other primary sources.

Walking tours are led by History Project staff including historian Charles Denson or poet/teaching artist Amanda Deutch, who have over 100 years of family history in Coney Island! All tours begin with a private visit to the History Project's exhibition center under the Wonder Wheel's iconic entrance sign on Denos D. Vourderis Place (West 12th Street), just a few steps off the Boardwalk. The 1-1/2 hour tour includes a talk on the exhibits and objects on display.