Coney Island History Project

Coney Island History Project The Coney Island History Project, founded in 2004, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that aims to increase awareness of Coney Island's legendary and colorful past and to encourage appreciation of the Coney Island neighborhood of today.

For information about programs and activities, or to become a member or volunteer email [email protected]

In 2011, the History Project moved to a new exhibition center on W 12th Street in the heart of Deno's Wonder Wheel Park. Since the Coney Island History Project's inception in 2004 with a portable recording booth on the Boardwalk, followed by the opening of the Coney Island Hall of

For information about programs and activities, or to become a member or volunteer email [email protected]

In 2011, the History Project moved to a new exhibition center on W 12th Street in the heart of Deno's Wonder Wheel Park. Since the Coney Island History Project's inception in 2004 with a portable recording booth on the Boardwalk, followed by the opening of the Coney Island Hall of

Operating as usual

#ThrowbackThursday: Jimmy McCullough's Kiddie Park on West 8th Street, next to the Cyclone. The site is now occupied by ...
09/23/2021

#ThrowbackThursday: Jimmy McCullough's Kiddie Park on West 8th Street, next to the Cyclone. The site is now occupied by the Aquarium's parking lot. 1950s photo from Coney Island History Project Collection.

#ThrowbackThursday: Jimmy McCullough's Kiddie Park on West 8th Street, next to the Cyclone. The site is now occupied by the Aquarium's parking lot. 1950s photo from Coney Island History Project Collection.

Thanks to the Coney Island Film Festival for screening 'Environmental Racism and the Coney Island Ferry,' Charles Denson...
09/21/2021

Thanks to the Coney Island Film Festival for screening 'Environmental Racism and the Coney Island Ferry,' Charles Denson's film on the ferry terminal coming to Kaiser Park fishing pier.

If you missed the film fest, you can watch the films from home via XerbTV thru September 25: https://xerb.tv/channel/coneyislandfilmfestival/virtual-events

Thanks to the Coney Island Film Festival for screening 'Environmental Racism and the Coney Island Ferry,' Charles Denson's film on the ferry terminal coming to Kaiser Park fishing pier.

If you missed the film fest, you can watch the films from home via XerbTV thru September 25: https://xerb.tv/channel/coneyislandfilmfestival/virtual-events

NEW in the Coney Island History Project #OralHistory #Archive: Jen Kepler is an educator at New York Aquarium and a pass...
09/20/2021
Jen Kepler

NEW in the Coney Island History Project #OralHistory #Archive: Jen Kepler is an educator at New York Aquarium and a passionate observer of Brooklyn wildlife. In this oral history recorded by Mary Conlon, Jen talks about her calling "teaching people about what I love" and the species of ducks, gulls, and birds one can see on Coney Island Beach and at Steeplechase Pier. https://www.coneyislandhistory.org/oral-history-archive/jen-kepler

Jen Kepler is an educator at the New York Aquarium whose titles are Manager of Volunteers and Visitor Engagement and Live Interpretation Manager. The Brooklyn native recalls aspiring to work there ever since her childhood visits to see the beluga whales and the Aquatheater Show.

#OTDH: Steeplechase closing ceremony as the park closed forever in 1964. From Charles Denson's Coney Island: Lost and Fo...
09/20/2021

#OTDH: Steeplechase closing ceremony as the park closed forever in 1964. From Charles Denson's Coney Island: Lost and Found: "The park's bells were slowly tolled once for every year of operation. The sound system played "There's No Business Like Show Business" and then "Auld Lang Syne." Thousands of lights were switched off slowly, row after row, on each toll of the bell. As it turned out, the park went dark for the last time. Photo courtesy of Dan Pisark. #ConeyIsland #TodayInHistory

#OTDH: Steeplechase closing ceremony as the park closed forever in 1964. From Charles Denson's Coney Island: Lost and Found: "The park's bells were slowly tolled once for every year of operation. The sound system played "There's No Business Like Show Business" and then "Auld Lang Syne." Thousands of lights were switched off slowly, row after row, on each toll of the bell. As it turned out, the park went dark for the last time. Photo courtesy of Dan Pisark. #ConeyIsland #TodayInHistory

#ThrowbackThursday 1950s photo of balloon game on Coney Island's Bowery from the Coney Island History Project Collection...
09/16/2021

#ThrowbackThursday 1950s photo of balloon game on Coney Island's Bowery from the Coney Island History Project Collection. Listen to Ep 7 of our #ConeyIslandStories #podcast with indie game operators, past and present from our oral history archive. https://www.buzzsprout.com/1565375/8343714-staying-in-the-game

#ThrowbackThursday 1950s photo of balloon game on Coney Island's Bowery from the Coney Island History Project Collection. Listen to Ep 7 of our #ConeyIslandStories #podcast with indie game operators, past and present from our oral history archive. https://www.buzzsprout.com/1565375/8343714-staying-in-the-game

Screening this Sunday in Program 16 (Coney Island Films, Sept. 19, 6PM) at the Coney Island Film Festival: "Environmenta...
09/14/2021

Screening this Sunday in Program 16 (Coney Island Films, Sept. 19, 6PM) at the Coney Island Film Festival: "Environmental Racism and the Coney Island Ferry," Charles Denson's film on the ferry terminal that's being built at the Kaiser Park fishing pier, "a place to fish, pray, conduct research, monitor horseshoe crabs, and launch kayaks. Fifty years of environmental improvements at this site will soon be destroyed by the City’s dubious ferry project." This year's festival offers both in-person screenings and a livestream option if you'd like to watch from home. For info, visit http://www.coneyislandfilmfestival.com

Screening this Sunday in Program 16 (Coney Island Films, Sept. 19, 6PM) at the Coney Island Film Festival: "Environmental Racism and the Coney Island Ferry," Charles Denson's film on the ferry terminal that's being built at the Kaiser Park fishing pier, "a place to fish, pray, conduct research, monitor horseshoe crabs, and launch kayaks. Fifty years of environmental improvements at this site will soon be destroyed by the City’s dubious ferry project." This year's festival offers both in-person screenings and a livestream option if you'd like to watch from home. For info, visit http://www.coneyislandfilmfestival.com

Today, Columbia's September 11, 2001 #OralHistory Project contains over 900 recorded hours with 600+ people. You can lis...
09/11/2021
Columbia’s 9/11 Oral History Project Allows Us to ‘Think About It Differently’

Today, Columbia's September 11, 2001 #OralHistory Project contains over 900 recorded hours with 600+ people. You can listen to over 350 interviews online. “This distance in time will allow people, if they go back to this archive to think about it differently..." https://news.columbia.edu/news/september-11-oral-history-project

Today, the September 11, 2001 Oral History Project contains over 900 recorded hours with more than 600 people.

September 10: The Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance's Annual Candlelight Ceremony from 5:30-7:30 at the Western Wall, Maimoni...
09/10/2021

September 10: The Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance's Annual Candlelight Ceremony from 5:30-7:30 at the Western Wall, Maimonides Park in Coney Island. #September11th #20years

September 10: The Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance's Annual Candlelight Ceremony from 5:30-7:30 at the Western Wall, Maimonides Park in Coney Island. #September11th #20years

This group of very enthusiastic visitors from Chile visited the Coney Island History Project exhibition center on Labor ...
09/08/2021

This group of very enthusiastic visitors from Chile visited the Coney Island History Project exhibition center on Labor Day, our last day of the 2021 season. We typically ask people "where are you visiting from," and this year almost everyone said "here" or named a Brooklyn neighborhood or NYC borough. We love our fellow New Yorkers, but unlike past seasons, we met very few tourists from out-of-state and only a handful from other countries so it was exciting to welcome a group all the way from Chile on our last day!

This group of very enthusiastic visitors from Chile visited the Coney Island History Project exhibition center on Labor Day, our last day of the 2021 season. We typically ask people "where are you visiting from," and this year almost everyone said "here" or named a Brooklyn neighborhood or NYC borough. We love our fellow New Yorkers, but unlike past seasons, we met very few tourists from out-of-state and only a handful from other countries so it was exciting to welcome a group all the way from Chile on our last day!

Happy Labor Day from the Coney Island History Project! #Flashback to September 6, 1958 New Yorker cover by Vestie Davis ...
09/06/2021

Happy Labor Day from the Coney Island History Project! #Flashback to September 6, 1958 New Yorker cover by Vestie Davis featuring Steeplechase Park. #LaborDay

Happy Labor Day from the Coney Island History Project! #Flashback to September 6, 1958 New Yorker cover by Vestie Davis featuring Steeplechase Park. #LaborDay

09/04/2021

#LaborDayWeekend is your last chance to 👀 Cy, the Spook-A-Rama Cyclops at the Coney Island History Project this season! Our free exhibition center is open today, Sunday, and Labor Day from 1-7PM. Check out our outdoor exhibition of banners celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Wonder Wheel next door at Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. After Labor Day, we focus on virtual programming: recording oral histories, and producing our Coney Island Stories podcast and free events via Zoom.

09/02/2021

Sea Gate resident Sam Moses is one of Coney Island's finest sign painters. In this clip from Ep 10 of our oral history podcast, Sam talks about how his dream of painting signs in Coney came true in the '90s. One of his masterpieces was the front of Denny's Ice Cream! Listen to #ConeyIslandStories wherever you get your #podcasts. https://www.coneyislandhistory.org/podcast/episode-10-sign-painters-and-artists

The Coney Island History Project’s free exhibition center will be open for two more weekends including Labor Day, from 1...
08/28/2021

The Coney Island History Project’s free exhibition center will be open for two more weekends including Labor Day, from 1 – 7 PM. Our open-air front and indoor exhibits are reconfigured for socially distanced viewing from outside. It’s your last chance to take a selfie with Cy, the Spook-A-Rama Cyclops, and see our original Steeplechase Horse and other wonders this summer!

The Coney Island History Project’s free exhibition center will be open for two more weekends including Labor Day, from 1 – 7 PM. Our open-air front and indoor exhibits are reconfigured for socially distanced viewing from outside. It’s your last chance to take a selfie with Cy, the Spook-A-Rama Cyclops, and see our original Steeplechase Horse and other wonders this summer!

Coney Island History Project August E-News: Wonder Wheel Banner Exhibit, Sign Painters & Artists Podcast, Murals, and Fr...
08/26/2021

Coney Island History Project August E-News: Wonder Wheel Banner Exhibit, Sign Painters & Artists Podcast, Murals, and Friday Night Fireworks https://conta.cc/38jeFQx
📷 Norman Blake

Coney Island History Project August E-News: Wonder Wheel Banner Exhibit, Sign Painters & Artists Podcast, Murals, and Friday Night Fireworks https://conta.cc/38jeFQx
📷 Norman Blake

Sign Painters and Artists! The new episode of our podcast shares the stories of Coney Island sign painters as well as ar...
08/25/2021

Sign Painters and Artists! The new episode of our podcast shares the stories of Coney Island sign painters as well as artists and designers who’ve been inspired by Coney’s celebrated signage, all taken from the Coney Island History Project’s Oral History Archive. Listen to #ConeyIslandStories via Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your #podcasts. https://www.coneyislandhistory.org/podcast/episode-10-sign-painters-and-artists

Sign Painters and Artists! The new episode of our podcast shares the stories of Coney Island sign painters as well as artists and designers who’ve been inspired by Coney’s celebrated signage, all taken from the Coney Island History Project’s Oral History Archive. Listen to #ConeyIslandStories via Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your #podcasts. https://www.coneyislandhistory.org/podcast/episode-10-sign-painters-and-artists

Great photo by Jim McDonnell of Monica Ghee, one of the last independent game operators on Coney Island's Bowery. She's ...
08/18/2021

Great photo by Jim McDonnell of Monica Ghee, one of the last independent game operators on Coney Island's Bowery. She's been working here on and off for 50+ years. Patronize her games and listen to her oral history in Coney Island History Project Archive recorded by Kaara Baptiste in 2019: https://www.coneyislandhistory.org/oral-history-archive/monica-ghee

Great photo by Jim McDonnell of Monica Ghee, one of the last independent game operators on Coney Island's Bowery. She's been working here on and off for 50+ years. Patronize her games and listen to her oral history in Coney Island History Project Archive recorded by Kaara Baptiste in 2019: https://www.coneyislandhistory.org/oral-history-archive/monica-ghee

Happy #NationalRollerCoasterDay! Give a listen to 'Legendary #Rollercoasters,' Ep 5 of #ConeyIsland Stories, the Coney I...
08/16/2021

Happy #NationalRollerCoasterDay! Give a listen to 'Legendary #Rollercoasters,' Ep 5 of #ConeyIsland Stories, the Coney Island History Project's #oralhistory #podcast via your fave podcast app or http://coneyislandhistory.org/podcast/episode-5-legendary-roller-coasters 🎢

Happy #NationalRollerCoasterDay! Give a listen to 'Legendary #Rollercoasters,' Ep 5 of #ConeyIsland Stories, the Coney Island History Project's #oralhistory #podcast via your fave podcast app or http://coneyislandhistory.org/podcast/episode-5-legendary-roller-coasters 🎢

Coney Island's West 12th Street looking good! Visit the Coney Island History Project and our next door neighbors Deno's ...
08/14/2021

Coney Island's West 12th Street looking good! Visit the Coney Island History Project and our next door neighbors Deno's Wonder Wheel, Phoenix roller coaster, Miss Coney Island and Skin the Wire. Our #FREE exhibition center is open weekends and holidays thru Labor Day, 1-7PM. Plus we have a free outdoor exhibition of banners celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Wonder Wheel on view thru October inside Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park.
📷 Jim McDonnell

Coney Island's West 12th Street looking good! Visit the Coney Island History Project and our next door neighbors Deno's Wonder Wheel, Phoenix roller coaster, Miss Coney Island and Skin the Wire. Our #FREE exhibition center is open weekends and holidays thru Labor Day, 1-7PM. Plus we have a free outdoor exhibition of banners celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Wonder Wheel on view thru October inside Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park.
📷 Jim McDonnell

#ThrowbackThursday to NY Lt. Governor and soon to be Governor Kathy Hochul at #ConeyIsland's Opening Day in April. She g...
08/12/2021

#ThrowbackThursday to NY Lt. Governor and soon to be Governor Kathy Hochul at #ConeyIsland's Opening Day in April. She got up at 3 something in the AM to get here from Buffalo and after chatting with people rewrote parts of her very impressive speech on the spot 🎢🎡!!

#ThrowbackThursday to NY Lt. Governor and soon to be Governor Kathy Hochul at #ConeyIsland's Opening Day in April. She got up at 3 something in the AM to get here from Buffalo and after chatting with people rewrote parts of her very impressive speech on the spot 🎢🎡!!

08/11/2021

Audiogram: Growing up in Philadelphia, Alonzo Kittrels enjoyed bus trips to Coney Island from the 1940's - early '60s with the Good Will Family Club organized by his grandmother. "I can still see my mother preparing food for the old wicker lunch boxes," he says in this excerpt from an oral history interview with the Coney Island History Project recorded by Ali Lemer. Audiogram by Neter Antoine. https://www.coneyislandhistory.org/oral-history-archive/alonzo-kittrels

#FREE things to do this weekend: Visit the Coney Island History Project! See movies about Coney history and take a souve...
08/07/2021

#FREE things to do this weekend: Visit the Coney Island History Project! See movies about Coney history and take a souvenir photo with Cy, the Spook-A-Rama Cyclops, or an original Steeplechase horse from the legendary ride that gave Steeplechase Park its name. Sat-Sun, 1-7PM. Next door, at Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, view our outdoor exhibition of banners celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Wonder Wheel!

#FREE things to do this weekend: Visit the Coney Island History Project! See movies about Coney history and take a souvenir photo with Cy, the Spook-A-Rama Cyclops, or an original Steeplechase horse from the legendary ride that gave Steeplechase Park its name. Sat-Sun, 1-7PM. Next door, at Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, view our outdoor exhibition of banners celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Wonder Wheel!

#ThrowbackThursday Umbrellas for rent and soda for sale under the Boardwalk. West 23rd Street and the Boardwalk. 1950s p...
08/05/2021

#ThrowbackThursday Umbrellas for rent and soda for sale under the Boardwalk. West 23rd Street and the Boardwalk. 1950s photo from the Coney Island History Project Collection. Listen to the Beach Days episode of our Coney Island Stories podcast: https://www.coneyislandhistory.org/podcast/epi#ThrowbackThursday

#ThrowbackThursday Umbrellas for rent and soda for sale under the Boardwalk. West 23rd Street and the Boardwalk. 1950s photo from the Coney Island History Project Collection. Listen to the Beach Days episode of our Coney Island Stories podcast: https://www.coneyislandhistory.org/podcast/epi#ThrowbackThursday

Ali Lemer and Tricia Vita, who are co-producers with Charles Denson of our Coney Island Stories podcast, met in person f...
07/31/2021

Ali Lemer and Tricia Vita, who are co-producers with Charles Denson of our Coney Island Stories podcast, met in person for the first time last weekend! They've been working together virtually since the pandemic began in March 2020. Listen to the Coney Island History Project's podcast via Apple, Spotify and coneyislandhistory.org/podcast. And if you're visiting Coney, stop by the History Project and say hi. We're open 1-7PM, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays thru Labor Day.

Ali Lemer and Tricia Vita, who are co-producers with Charles Denson of our Coney Island Stories podcast, met in person for the first time last weekend! They've been working together virtually since the pandemic began in March 2020. Listen to the Coney Island History Project's podcast via Apple, Spotify and coneyislandhistory.org/podcast. And if you're visiting Coney, stop by the History Project and say hi. We're open 1-7PM, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays thru Labor Day.

Night view of Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park and Coney Island History Project by Danielle Mastrion Art, who painted ...
07/30/2021

Night view of Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park and Coney Island History Project by Danielle Mastrion Art, who painted the splendid Elephant Hotel and Wonder Wheel Thrills on our gates! Murals sponsored by Alliance for Coney Island and New York City Department of Small Business Services 🙏

Night view of Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park and Coney Island History Project by Danielle Mastrion Art, who painted the splendid Elephant Hotel and Wonder Wheel Thrills on our gates! Murals sponsored by Alliance for Coney Island and New York City Department of Small Business Services 🙏

Address

3059 W 12th St
Brooklyn, NY
11224

Subway: D, F, N & Q to Coney Island - Stillwell Ave Terminal F & Q to W 8th St - NY Aquarium

General information

The Coney Island History Project exhibit center is open Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day (1-7PM). Also open Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday (1-6PM). Admission is free of charge. In addition, the Coney Island History Project offers year-round weekend walking tours which begin with a private tour of the exhibit center including a talk about the objects on display. Tours are based on History Project director Charles Denson's award-winning book Coney Island: Lost and Found, the interviews from CIHP’s Oral History Archive, and other primary sources. Visit our online reservation site to see the walking tour schedule and purchase advance tickets online. If you have a question or to arrange a private visit or group tour, please e-mail events[AT]coneyislandhistory[DOT]org.

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Our Story

Now more than ever we encourage you to browse the Coney Island History Project's website, which in addition to our Oral History Archive includes Ask Mr. Coney Island, selections from our Collection, and Coney News and Hall of Fame. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to learn about Coney Island's legendary and colorful past and the Coney Island community of today.

Due to the COVID-19 emergency, the Coney Island History Project has postponed walking tours, group visits to our exhibition center, events at schools and senior centers, and in-person oral history interviews until further notice. In order to maintain appropriate social distancing while continuing to engage with our community, our staff is recording oral histories from home via phone and Skype and creating virtual exhibits. Please email [email protected] for information.

We look forward to welcoming visitors to the Coney Island History Project exhibition center again soon. In the meantime, please stay safe and take care.

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Comments

"The Purchase of Meadow & Upland [The Deed to Coney Island]" I pulled this out of the NYCDOR website, in the off-chance youse haven't seen it... "On May 7, 1654 Guttaquoh made his mark on the bottom of this deed conveying the Island to the forty Gravesend settlers." https://nycma.lunaimaging.com/luna/servlet/detail/RECORDSPHOTOUNITARC~33~33~1340844~1231031:The-Purchase-of-Meadow-&-Upland--Th?sort=borough%2Cblock%2Clot%2Czip_code&qvq=q:the%20deed%20for%20coney%20island;sort:borough%2Cblock%2Clot%2Czip_code&mi=1&trs=2
Hello All, I am looking for any information/accounts/pictures regarding the house fire at 2971 W. 25th St. in Coney Island on February 9, 1954. Attached is the Brooklyn Eagle story of the incident. I remember as a child there was a photograph of the Police Officers at the scene (one being my father Ernest Bonnevier.) He recounted how they had them go back to the scene after the job to re-create the scene for the news paper. The picture doesn't seem to be from the Brooklyn Eagle was hoping someone may know of another archive or further information. Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Coney Island deserves a ferry. It deserves a clean creek, too. #decongestconeyisland #saveconeyisland #superfundthecreek ❤️🎡⛴💧🌎❤️
Does anyone have a copy of the front page of a newspaper with the story of the July 28, 1907 (not 1911) Coney Island Fire? Preferably the New York Evening Journal, but any NY paper would be fine. Thanks!
My folks were Married on May 31st 1953. They just returned from their Bermuda honeymoon when mom won this photo. It's across from the Cyclone. I think this shot with the trolly is the same location from earlier years.
Hello, can someone tell me the exact year, not around, that the Steeplechase Park Big Wheel was disassembled and sent to Seaside Heights NJ ? Thank you, Jim
The City’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) presented their NYC Ferry Coney Island ferry landing designs to Brooklyn Community Board 13 at their Joint Environmental & Sanitation/Transportation committee meeting on February 9, 2021. EDC is submitting these designs to the Public Design Commission (PDC) and anticipates them to be subject to a Public Hearing at the PDC’s March 22, 2021 meeting. The public is invited to comment on these designs either by attending and testifying at the PDC virtual public hearing on March 22, 2021, or by submitting comments to the PDC directly. Instructions for submitting comments may be found on the PDC website at: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/designcommission/review/public-testimony.page Please note that “testimony should be limited to issues of design and aesthetic merit, as that is the Public Design Commission's purview.” #superfundthecreek
Hey, can I still redeem these points? It says "Coupons Redeemable Anytime".
William Termini circa 1994 Coney Island
Thought you folks might enjoy this. The NYC DOF 1940's tax census photos are a treasure trove. Let me know if I can find something for you.
Hey Coney Island History Project. Has Henderson Walk been officially “de-mapped” from the grid? I reported the missing sign to 311 twice and it was never replaced. People over there say it’s private property. Any info? Also, while closed, it would also be nice to get the sign replaced at Kensington Walk as well. Thanks!!