Was the Parachute Jump shortened?

Dear Mr. Coney Island...
I have read and enjoyed your column of questions, answers & pictures. Please tell me if, during the renovation of the Parachute Jump, it was shortened. I seem to think during the mid 1950s that it looked taller.
- Felicia

Hello Felicia,

Believe it or not, you are not the first to ask this question. The "shorter tower" has become something of an urban legend. The reconstruction was carefully documented and no one, including the engineers, construction workers, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Parks Department, or EDC gave any indication that the tower was altered in any way that reduced its height. Compare the two images in the accompanying photo. The 1994 image matches the current image and number of levels.

There are many other myths surrounding the Jump and two are worth mentioning:

1. Despite the numerous stories of made-up mayhem concerning the jump, no one was ever killed or seriously injured while riding it. The ride did not close because of safety issues.

2. The most annoying myth is the one caused by sloppy research from the Landmarks Commision. Although the Parachute Jump closed for good in September 1964 and never operated again, the Landmarks designation report claims that the ride operated until 1968. The report erroneously claims that Coney amusement maven Norman Kaufman operated it after Steeplechase closed. Mr. Kaufman still gets a good laugh over this error. Make no mistake about this: the Landmarks Commission has the wrong date and the jump never operated after 1964. We can be grateful, however, that the tower gained landmark status and hope that someday the Parachute Jump will operate once again!


Yes, it should be put back into operation. Hopefully, the dream will really come true for a lot of Coney Island visitors in the near future. In reality, this is the shame of Coney Island!!

It's fascinating that it's lost height is considered an urban legend now. I recall when it was reconstructed and personally believe without a doubt it was rebuilt shorter. The pole at the top was made longer so that overall it was the same height but I am sure I am not mistaken. The picture may make it appear to be identical but the reduced height was obvious to all native CI residents.

Please this would be incredible get all design, construction , engineering invovled, to up and run this attraction.
Wow did not know it was historical status now!

I have a piece of it from when it was renovated.

I think if the Parachute Jump ride was to be put back in operation it would make a lot of money. It would bring the famous attraction back to life and more people to visit Coney Island. Why not have the engineers and Parachute riggers make it a ride of a life time! it would help bring Coney Island back to the glory day's...The Cyclone and the Parchute Jump and Nathans, All ICONS of the early 1900's....Thanks for lending an EAR!

I was on this ride about 1960-61. A senior in high school in Freeport L.I.. My girlfriend and I took this ride and it got stuck about 1/2 way down. I took a while to get it running again. So you were hanging there ; I said never again and never did. I was glad when I read later that it was shut down. Coney Island is not same. Growing up and going there several times summer, I liked the Steeplechase the best. I did learn to eat clams on the half shell they were so good.

I was the last one to ride the parachute 20 minutes after it was closing down never to be rode again the gentleman taking it down started it backup and let me ride 1 last ride around 12 o'clock midnight that night I was 8 years old he knew my father Eugene Daniels he did it as a favor. Said never tell anyone

What was the original flag that flew on top of the parachute jump ride? My brother told me back in the day that it was a flag with the likeness of the joker on it. I would just like to confirm that.

I rode that parachute jump when I was 3-4 with my father, Kenneth, in the late 1950s, with no seatbelts, safety straps that I recall, maybe a bar like a rollercoaster? Maybe why I became a paratrooper!

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