Save Coney Island has four major initiatives underway to help accomplish our mission of restoring Coney Island as a world-class amusement destination.
1. MAPPING CONEY ISLAND
This summer, we launched our map of the Coney Island Amusement Area to address a clear need: many tourists and even seasoned New Yorkers don’t know the extent of amusements, restaurants and activities down at Coney Island, or how to navigate the amusement area. We published a short print-run of 1,000 maps to demonstrate just how valuable a free visitor map could be — and it was very well received. You can download a PDF of the map here. Next summer, we plan to distribute a far larger number of maps. To read more about our Mapping Coney Island initiative, click here.
2. PRESERVING CONEY ISLAND
Save Coney Island believes it is critical to restore and reactivate the remaining historic fabric in Coney Island to create a meaningful heritage destination and tell Coney Island’s extraordinary history. Currently, there are several buildings that are threatened with imminent demolition — Henderson’s Music Hall, the Bank of Coney Island, the Grashorn Building, and the Shore Hotel. Save Coney Island is exploring scenarios under which these buildings could be brought under different ownership and restored. To learn more about our Preserving Coney Island initiative, click here.
3. EXPANDING CONEY ISLAND
In December 2009, the City bought 6.5 acres of land in the amusement area that will be dedicated to open-air amusements — this includes the former Astroland site, where the new Luna Park is now located. Save Coney Island strongly supported this purchase. But we don’t think enough land has been purchased yet to secure Coney Island’s future as an amusement destination.
4. ACTIVATING CONEY ISLAND
As most visitors already know, too much of Coney’s amusement area consists of empty lots and empty buildings. Last summer, active uses occupied only 30% of the area that could be programmed with amusements, games and festivals. This is an enormous missed opportunity to incrementally revitalize Coney Island by bringing exciting new events to the amusement area. On the other hand, the visitor experience to Coney Island could also be significantly improved. Save Coney Island had a commentary on this situation published by the Center for an Urban Future and is currently formulating an initiative to address this situation.