Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge, Coney Island represented in preservation video from Landmarks Conservancy

September 27, 2023 Raanan Geberer
‘Magic at Coney!!!’ on New Year’s Day at Coney Island Museum. Eagle photo by Arthur De Gaeta
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Three well-known Brooklynites have been featured in a series of short videos from the New York Landmarks Conservancy called “I Am Preservation.”

The video series celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Conservancy, and is designed to “demonstrate how important historic preservation is to so many people,” according to a statement from the organization.

The three are Carlo Scissura, head of the New York Building Congress, who lives in Bay Ridge, Lisa Mangels-Schaefer, curator of the Coney Island Museum; and Adam Rinn, the artistic director of Coney Island USA, the museum’s parent body. 

Scissura, after introducing himself as a Bay Ridge resident, said that from his house, he looks out at “one of our greatest landmarks,” the Verrazzano Bridge, which he calls a “transportation icon” along with other bridges, Grand Central Station and the new Moynihan Station. Scissura also is the former president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

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Mangels-Schaefer, after introducing herself as curator, informs the viewer that she is “standing in front of our 1917 landmark building in the heart of Coney Island.” The building went through many incarnations, from a Child’s cafeteria to a jazz nightclub to several arcades, until Coney Island USA, which owns the museum bought it in 1996.

Although Mangels-Schaefer doesn’t mention it, she is also the granddaughter of William F. Mangels, amusement-ride designer and manufacturer.

Carlo Scissura. Photo courtesy of Carlo Scissura

Standing next to her in the video is Rinn, who in addition to being artistic director is also a circus sideshow performer who grew up in Coney Island and swims with the Polar Bear Club on New Year’s Day. As if to accentuate Mangels-Schaefer’s remarks, he swallows a sword — well, halfway — at the end of the video.

Also featured in this particular video is Suzie Durst, Midtown East (Manhattan) resident, who talks about the Roosevelt Island Tramway.

The Conservancy asks New Yorkers to join in the celebration and send in their videos, as it plans to post clips related to preservation throughout the year on its many social media platforms.

“We’re able to celebrate our 50th anniversary because so many New Yorkers have always supported preserving the best of our city.  So we felt it appropriate to give as many people as possible a chance to speak up about preservation,” said Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

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