And unhappiness is treason

American economic mythology.

Coney Island, which lost its beloved Astroland amusement park last summer after 46 glorious years, is set to be home to the rebirth of one of the area’s original landmarks, Dreamland.

Constructed in 1904, Dreamland Park was one of the first entertainments built on Coney Island. It burned to the ground in 1911, following a fire that started appropriately enough at the “Hell Gate” attraction.

Now, nearly a century later, Thor Equities, the polarizing real estate developer who bought the site in 2006 for $30 million, is set to bring Dreamland back.


“To throw some carnival rides in and call it Dreamland seems kind of a shame,” said Charles Denson, a Coney Island historian.

Dick Zigun, however, founder of Coney Island USA and frequent Thor critic, doesn’t think it’s so bad.
“There’s nobody alive who remembers going to Dreamland,” Zigun said. “I think it will be fine.”

3 thoughts on “And unhappiness is treason

  1. That’s a shame. My son loved riding those fire engines when he was younger. He could ring the bell on ’em. I didn’t blame him for not wanting to get off, but we didn’t have enough tickets for him to be on there for more than two times.
    Higher real estate prices on Coney Island, which were kicked up even more when the Single-A Brooklyn Cyclones started playing in Keyspan Park over there and selling out every game and when the Stillwell Avenue subway terminal was redone, are going to make it harder for the other amusements Coney Island became famous for to stay. And, because there is so much history in the amusements that have come and gone on Coney Island (the Iron Pier, Dreamland, Luna Park, Steeplechase, and now Astroland) I think Thor Equities would be getting flak for bringing back any of that regardless of what they were calling it.

  2. FYI, lip, the Cyclone and some other remnants of Astroland are still there because they were actually historically landmarked by the city.
    I hate to see Coney Island go the way of Times Square, some giant outdoor mall with all the rough spots and associated authentic charm and funkiness rubbed out.
    I don’t know enough about this to really understand how n the Brighton Beach area and the retirement/condominium community fits in this equation.

  3. The bad economy is putting off the fact that Coney Island has been going through a process turning it away from the seediness it had. Demolishing projects dating from the sixties kicked it off. Putting Keyspan Park in there – which gives Brooklyn back a ball team for the first time since the Dodgers moved to LA, and, as a result of that and cheap ticket prices, sells out EVERY home game – redoing the New York Aquarium further down the boardwalk, and redoing the subway stations for Coney Island are making the area a place to visit and to live for folks other than immigrants and thrill-seekers nostalgic for the heyday of Coney Island. Brighton Beach is further northeast from the amusements and isn’t reaping any “benefits” as of yet, but eventually, this will hit Little Odessa as well, and immigrants will be forced out.
    But then again, the place has been resistant to change – kinda like New Orleans. Only time will tell.

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