Visit the Coney Island History Project under the Wonder Wheel!
2018 marks the 14th anniversary of the Coney Island History Project! Since the History Project's inception in 2004 with a portable recording booth on the Boardwalk, followed by the opening of the Coney Island Hall of Fame in 2005 and the inaugural season of our exhibition center under the Cyclone in 2007, we have proudly offered "Free Admission for One and All!" at our exhibits and special events.
In 2011, the History Project continued that tradition when we moved from the Cyclone to our new exhibition center in Deno's Wonder Wheel Park. We are grateful to the Vourderis family for inviting us to set up history exhibits in locations around their park, and to the Albert family for their ongoing support as the History Project continues its mission of recording oral histories with people who have lived, worked, and played in Coney Island.
The Coney Island History Project's exhibition center is located on West 12th Street at the entrance to Deno's Wonder Wheel Park, just a few steps off the Boardwalk. View historic artifacts, photographs, maps, ephemera and films of Coney Island's colorful past. The History Project is open weekends and holidays from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day from 1-7pm. We will also be open on Palm Sunday (March 25, 2018) which is Coney Island's opening day of the season, and Easter Sunday (April 1, 2018) from 1-6pm. Admission is free of charge.
Visitors are invited to take free souvenir photos with Coney Island's only original Steeplechase horse, from the legendary ride that gave Steeplechase Park its name, and the iconic Cyclops head from Deno's Wonder Wheel Park's Spook-A-Rama, Coney Island's oldest dark ride. Among the treasures on display at the Coney Island History Project’s exhibit center this season is Coney Island’s oldest surviving artifact from the dawn of the “World’s Playground.” The 1823 Toll House sign dates back to the days when the toll for a horse and rider to “the Island” was 5 cents! Today, the nearly two century old sign is often described as Coney Island's "first admission ticket."
"Neptune Revisited: Terra Cotta Relics from the Childs Building, Last of Coney Island's Boardwalk Palaces," our special exhibit for the 2017 season, is currently on view. A selection of original polychrome pieces from the Childs Restaurant Building is on display along with archival photographs, ephemera, and an illustrated timeline of the history of the building and its restoration.
In addition, the Coney Island History Project offers year-round weekend walking tours which begin with a private tour of the exhibit center including a talk about the objects on display. 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. Visit our online reservation site to see the walking tour schedule and purchase advance tickets online. If you have a question or to arrange a private visit or group tour, please e-mail events[AT]coneyislandhistory[DOT]org.
2018 Schedule: Open Weekends and Holidays from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. Admission is Free!
• from May 26 - September 2, 2018 - Saturdays and Sundays, 1pm-7pm
• also open March 25, 2018 - Palm Sunday, Coney Island's Traditional Opening Day, 1pm-6pm
• also open April 1, 2018 - Easter Sunday, 1pm-6pm
• also open May 28, 2018 - Memorial Day (Monday), 1pm-7pm
• also open July 4th, 2018 - (Wednesday), 1pm-7pm
• also open September 3, 2018 - Labor Day (Monday), 1pm-7pm
The Coney Island Project is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, New York City Councilman Mark Treyger, and our members and contributors. Printed materials made possible with funds from the Destination: Brooklyn Program, funded by the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and NYC & Company Foundation, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council.