Coney Island - Timeline

Revised 11/15/97

The material is copyrighted © 1997 by Jeffrey Stanton.






  • A fire broke out in an unoccupied pizza restaurant east of Steeplechase on August 28th at 8 P.M. and was fought by 35 fire companies with 75 pieces of equipment. Before it was contained at 9:45 P.M. six amusement places including the Ravenhall and Washington Baths were burned in the area between W. 19th and W 21st. Steeplechase's roller coaster and other buildings were hosed down by its employees to prevent its spread.

  • Astroland amusement park opens on the old Feltman property at W. 10th Avenue between Surf Avenue and the Boardwalk.


  • Coney Island experiences the worst season in a quarter of a century. Fear, not the World's Fair, was cited as the reason by concessionaires who reported business drops of 30-90% from the previous year. They attributed the decline in the following order.
    • 1) Influx of Negroes who made up half of the visitors, but discourage the attendance of white people.
    • 2) Unsafe subways.
    • 3) Teenage hoodlums. It was home turf for the city's teenage gangs.
    • 4) Bad weather - rainy weekends (it snowed Easter weekend).
    • 5) Inadequate parking.
    • 6) World's Fair.

  • Steeplechase Park closes permanently on September 20th.


  • Steeplechase Park , a 12.5 acre site, sold to Fred C. Trump, a real estate developer, for more than $2,500,000.


  • When 4000 teenage youths riot on Memorial Day, many concessionaires were forced to close before midnight. Many of the teens, who came by bus from Trenton, Baltimore and Philadelphia, were drunk.




  • New York City buys the Steeplechase Park acreage for $4,000,000 for a possible proposed park.




  • NYC puts the Parachute ride up for sale, but there are no bidders.


  • Estimate Board enacts zoning change barring further residential development in an attempt to revive beachfront as a prime amusement and recreation area.




  • N. Y. Aquarium wanted to tear down the adjacent Cyclone roller coaster. The coaster is saved when Dewey Albert signs lease to run it for $54,000 yearly rent.

  • 15 year old Bienviendo Morales was killed on a Ferris wheel when he opened the door of the car and had his head caught between a steel suspension bar and car door.

    Note: The New York Times article does not give the ride location. The lack of other Ferris wheels and the description of the word "door" leads me to believe it was on the Wonder Wheel. Readers who have access to other newspapers on microfilm might wish to look it up (late July - like 27th?)

  • Michael Boodley, age 17, on August 14th completed his 1000th circuit on the Cyclone roller coaster. He set a mark of 606 miles in 36 hours.



  • The Landmarks Commission on July 10th voted to make the Parachute Jump tower a historic landmark.

  • Fire damages the Tornado roller coaster on December 10th.




  • Fourteen people were injured and hospitalized while riding the Hell Hole on Saturday night July 29, 1995. The rotor ride, where the floor drops out as people are stuck to the spinning walls by centrifugal force, experienced metal fatigue and a section of the ride collapsed. Passengers inside suddenly heard a woman outside scream, "Stop the ride!" as chaos ensured around them. One woman, Lourdes Gonzolas, nearly lost her leg after it was cut open to the bone. The ride was permanently closed.