Coney Island Celebrates the Official Landmarking of its Famous Boardwalk
It was a great day for avid fans of the Coney Island Boardwalk.
On Thursday, August 9, elected officials and Coney fanatics gathered on the Boardwalk at West 12th Street to celebrate the official landmarking of the historic Riegelmann Boardwalk.
Although it was a formality, as the City Council had voted in July to make the popular Coney Island attraction a landmark, attendees were excited to celebrate the occasion.
“I can’t think of a better 95th birthday present for the Boardwalk than a celebration marking its historic landmark designation,” said Councilmember Mark Treyger. “The Boardwalk’s iconic status and significance is a reflection of the spirit it embodies. It is the fun, free place that celebrates accessibility and inclusiveness by being available to all people of all backgrounds. It is a critical part of our community’s culture, history and tradition, and it is one of the most recognizable places in Brooklyn and our city. This hard-fought victory ensures that the story of southern Brooklyn is safeguarded, and that this beloved structure is preserved and protected in perpetuity.”
Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Martin Maher was also in attendance. Calling the walkway, “one of Brooklyn’s most iconic treasures,” Maher said, in a statement, “Parks is proud to see it reach official Landmark status.”
The celebration of the landmarking was a “milestone day” added Borough President Eric Adams. “Being part of this landmarking has truly been a landmark achievement of my time as borough president.”
Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Coney Island History Project Charles Denson was thrilled that the day had finally come.
“I thought the event was wonderful and I think it capped a long battle to do something that should’ve been done a long time ago, which is landmarking the Boardwalk,” he said, noting that the designation had been slowed down by “a lot of political issues.”
He also discussed the importance of the Boardwalk not just to locals, but people from all over the world. “The Boardwalk was a gift to the people, something that was free to the public with small means. It was built as part of a public works project and it has succeeded for almost a century,” he said. “They go to see where their families met and immigrants came to assimilate. It has an incredible cultural history.”
“Yesterday’s celebration marked the culmination of years of effort to ensure that our Boardwalk is recognized as the landmark we know it to be,” added Councilmember Chaim Deutsch. “The Coney Island Boardwalk is as iconic to New York City as yellow taxicabs and the Statue of Liberty.”
Pee Wee, one of the Brooklyn Cyclones mascots, was in attendances. Following the ceremony, a Silent Disco event was held and attendees danced on the Boardwalk, marking the culmination of what Treyger called “a community-led effort.
“Now the Boardwalk will always be there for our community and millions of others to enjoy,” he added.
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