Coney Island

Landmarked Childs Restaurant is looking good

Eye on Real Estate: It's part of Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk

May 10, 2017 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This is Childs Restaurant, which is part of Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan
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This landmark on the Coney Island boardwalk is starting to look good.

Renovators have made great strides on the restoration of Childs Restaurant, which was constructed in 1923.|

The forbidding face of Neptune, god of the sea, peers down from the terra-cotta ornamentation on the stucco façade of the Spanish Colonial Revival-style building.

The once-glamorous seaside restaurant at 3052 W. 21st St., which was designed by architects Dennison & Hirons, is being restored because it’s an integral piece of a new concert venue that made its debut last summer.

Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk, as the new entertainment complex is called, also has an open-air component with a roof and 5,000 seats.

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The open-air amphitheater roof looks like a gigantic white tent. According to Birdair, the Buffalo-based company that built the roof, it consists of a PVC membrane exterior and a PVC membrane liner with two acoustical curtains supported by structural steel arches.

PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a water-resistant, fire-resistant plastic.

The venue’s stage is inside the Childs Restaurant building. The stage is visible to the outdoor audience thanks to 50-foot-tall doors on the side of the building.

This year’s upcoming concert season, which is scheduled to start on June 16, will include performances by Motown greats the Temptations, the Four Tops, Mary Wilson of the Supremes and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, country star Toby Keith and rock innovators Echo & the Bunnymen and Violent Femmes.  

Live Nation is the amphitheater operator. The city-owned property is leased by a joint venture of real-estate developer iStar and nonprofit Coney Island USA.

By the way, the Childs Restaurant amphitheater project also includes a one-acre playground, picnic area and grassy hill called Seaside Park. Its design was led by landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.


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