Gravesend Houses

A lifelong resident's memories of growing up in Coney Island's Gravesend Houses and Kaiser Park
Born and raised in Coney Island, Maria Navarro says her family came here from Morovis, Puerto Rico in 1957 and lived on West 36th, 27th, 21st, 28th and 29th Streets before settling in Gravesend Houses in 1970.  "Everybody knows each other," says...
Content type: Oral History Item
Resident of Coney Island for 47 years and retired transit cleaner at Stillwell Terminal
Lorraine Ross recalls moving to Coney Island on April 1st, 1973,  never imagining she would stay so long. Now 72 and retired, she first lived in an apartment on West 36th Street, where she raised her sons, before moving to Gravesend Houses, where...
Content type: Oral History Item
A poet and storyteller on growing up in Coney Island at Gravesend Houses, the beach and Astroland
Coney Island native Shavon Meyers is a photographer, visual artist, and storyteller who began writing poetry in 8th grade and realized her gift for rhyme with a poem about riding the D train.  Shavon shares childhood memories of growing up in...
Content type: Oral History Item
A voice actor's reflections on how growing up in Coney Island in the 1990s shaped her imagination
Tiana Camacho is a professional voice over actress for video games, anime, radio plays, and commercials who grew up in Coney Island in the 1990s.  When her family moved from Gravesend Houses to a house on West 19th Street next to the Coney Island...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up on West 33rd Street in Coney Island and working on the Boardwalk in the 1960s
Al Burgo, who grew up in Gravesend Houses in Coney Island's West End, shares memories of street games and streetwise hijinks in the 1960s. As a boy, he earned 15 cents per shine while apprenticing with a shoe shine pro on the Boardwalk, an...
Content type: Oral History Item
Coney Island resident Georganna Deas has spent forty years advocating for a better Coney Island
Economic development specialist Georganna Deas is a Coney Island resident and advocate who has lived in the Gravesend Houses on Kaiser Park for forty years.  After moving here in 1977, she worked with Coney Island Pride and then with Astella...
Content type: Oral History Item
Worked at the B&B Carousell
Kevin speaks lovingly and sadly of the 49 years he lived in Coney Island, remembering his dear friends and employers at the The Bishoff & Brienstein Carousell (the B&B for short) and regretting what is to become of his home under the new...
Content type: Oral History Item
Grew up in Coney Island
At 57 years old, Lauragay remembers many particulars of Coney Island from her childhood and teenage years, including exact addresses and years in which events took place. She remembers, for example, Ocean Tide and Ravenhall pools, Mary's and...
Content type: Oral History Item
Actor, performer, artist, teacher
Glenn has lived in Coney Island all his life and, concurrent with the interview, performed on the boardwalk on weekends. He passionately recounts many detailed memories, including the Tuesday fireworks, the First Baptist Church, the YMCA, the movie...
Content type: Oral History Item
Friends since Mark Twain Junior High years
Steve Garone (pictured above on the right) and Dan Pisark met as students at Mark Twain Junior High School and continued on together through Lafayette High School. Steve grew up in Gravesend Houses and recalls being poor but very happy as a kid in...
Content type: Oral History Item