Exhibit about the One Hundred-Year-Old Coney Island Boardwalk

The Riegelmann Boardwalk Coney Island History Project

The Coney Island History Project will open the 2023 season of our exhibition center on Memorial Day Weekend with an exhibit about the one hundred-year-old Riegelmann Boardwalk curated by Charles Denson. 

One hundred years ago, on May 15, 1923, the Coney Island Boardwalk officially opened! It was named for Brooklyn Borough President Edward Riegelmann who said: "Poor people will no longer have to stand with their faces pressed against wire fences looking at the ocean."

The Riegelmann Boardwalk: Past, Present, and Future is a fascinating exhibit that tells the story of how the Coney Island Boardwalk came into being, how it was constructed, and how it changed Coney Island forever by opening the shoreline to the public. Historic photographs and maps will illustrate the innovative construction techniques that were used for the first time to create Coney Island’s new  “Main Street” in 1923. A century of memorable photographs will be on display!

“As the Boardwalk celebrates its hundredth birthday its future is hard to predict," says Charles Denson, director of the Coney Island History Project and author of Coney Island: Lost and Found. "Will it remain a boardwalk, or will it become the world’s longest, widest sidewalk?" The exhibit describes the challenges facing this century-old New York City landmark as the City debates whether the deteriorating Boardwalk should be resurfaced with concrete, plastic, or wood.

The Riegelmann Boardwalk: Past, Present, and Future will be on view from May 27 through September 4, on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, from 1:00 PM- 7:00 PM. Admission is free of charge. The Coney Island History Project exhibition center is located at 3059 West 12th Street at the entrance to Deno's Wonder Wheel Park, just a few steps off the Boardwalk. For additional information, e-mail events@coneyislandhistory.org

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.



Stayed on W. 15th St across from Tony's (yellow and red building) next to a firehouse and Gargiulo's from 1950 (the year I was born) to 1966. Last week of July/first week of August, every year. From Paterson, NJ. Such fond memories. Walking the Boardwalk, the Bowery, fishing on the pier, staying on the beach in front of the Coca Cola Clock and hearing the Thunderbolt pass by every few minutes. the parachute jump, Steeplechase Park, the racing horses, Nathans, knishes, corn on the cob, the Wonder Wheel, the Virginia Reel, the Bobsled, the Cyclone, the Aquarium, the games of chance. You couldn't beat the atmosphere. Seems like it was only yesterday, yet sometimes it seems like it was in another world, a long long time ago.
Coney Island, thanks for the memories.

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