Coney Island

The Coney Island Boardwalk gets landmarked, here’s what that means

May 15, 2018 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Landmarks Preservation Commission has designated the Coney Island Boardwalk as a scenic landmark. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan

A city panel unanimously declared the Coney Island Boardwalk a scenic landmark on Tuesday — but the move will not protect the iconic tourist attraction from being paved over or replaced with plastic planks.

Tuesday morning’s designation by the Landmarks Preservation Commission does ensure that the Boardwalk will continue as a structure, but it is a symbolic gesture because the agency doesn’t have the power to prevent the city from altering the walkway.

“Hopefully, this symbolic designation will make the Parks Department rethink its concrete and plastic policy when working on the Boardwalk,” Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council, told the Brooklyn Eagle, calling the move a futile gesture.

The Public Design Commission retains authority over Boardwalk alterations — but has not stepped in on several occasions to prevent the Parks Department from using concrete and plastic, which the agency says are cheaper to maintain over time.

The City Council is expected to approve the “scenic landmark” measure in coming weeks and Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign it. 

In approving the designation, Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairwoman Meenakshi Srinivasan called the 2.7-mile city-owned span “a beloved public space that embodies Coney Island’s democratic spirit and reflects our city’s values of tolerance, inclusivity and equity.” 

Officially known as the Riegelmann Boardwalk, the walkway opened in 1923.

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