Landmarks calendars public hearing on potential designation of Coney Boardwalk

March 19, 2018 Meaghan McGoldrick
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Update: On Tuesday morning, the LPC voted in favor of calendaring a public hearing.

The storied Coney Island Boardwalk is one step closer to receiving landmark designation.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) will vote on Tuesday, March 20 on whether or not they will calendar a public hearing in regards to the decision to designate the Coney Island Riegelmann Boardwalk – first opened in 1923 – a scenic landmark.

Should it be calendared, LPC will hold a public hearing on the proposed designation, followed by a public meeting during which the commission will vote on the designation.

The hearing, if scheduled, would come on the heels of pressure from local stakeholders, elected officials and residents alike.

Landmark designation would officially recognize the nearly-century old stretch of wood as one of Southern Brooklyn’s historic locations, while also providing a layer of protection and an opportunity for local residents to weigh in on the future of the Boardwalk. Stakeholders are hoping such a designation would also prevent more of its traditional wooden planks from being replaced with concrete and plastic.

However, although scenic landmark status would protect its physical presence along the coastline and its general parameters including the configuration of the Boardwalk, for scenic landmarks, LPC review of alterations would be advisory only, with the Public Design Commission having binding jurisdiction, or final say, over the Boardwalk.

But, that’s not to say the agency won’t work hard to protect it, a spokesperson for LPC told this paper.

“This is an important first step in ensuring that this cultural touchstone beloved in Southern Brooklyn, across the city, and by millions from beyond the five boroughs is preserved and protected in perpetuity for generations to come,” said Councilmembers Mark Treyger and Chaim Deutsch, two who led the charge in securing the City Council’s support in landmarking the site in early 2016, in a joint statement. “Our push to see this local treasure receive landmark status has the support of all of the elected officials who represent this area, countless citywide officials and the entire City Council.”

The pair is particularly proud of their push.

“Our community’s push to landmark the Boardwalk was done without the help of lobbyists or conservancies. This was a true grassroots effort with local leaders and stakeholders,” they said, later adding that they “look forward to seeing this process move forward and, along with our community, will continue to offer our support every step of the way.”

The request for evaluation of the site was first filed in December of 2014 by Treyger and Coney Island historian Charles Denson.

The Riegelmann Boardwalk stretches just over two and a half miles from West 37th Street at the border of Coney Island and Sea Gate to Brighton 14th Street in Brighton Beach.

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