As the city starts construction on a new park next to the Coney Island boardwalk, NY1 has an exclusive sneak peek at its design, which includes a historic carousel that is a neighborhood landmark. Borough reporter Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
The B&B Carousel, a fabled part of Coney Island history, used to sit on Surf Avenue. Now, developers will place it next to the landmark Parachute Jump, in a two-story pavilion with folding glass doors that open out toward the boardwalk.
The designer, David Rockwell of Rockwell Group, explains that he wants to have the famed amusement park's history mingle with the fun.
"We're treating the carousel and the 50 amazing original horses and two chariots as kind of a jewel offset with this round building," says Rockwell. "And around the perimeter, when you're on the carousel, there will be a small installation looking at the history of Coney Island."
The carousel will sit in a newly created Steeplechase Plaza. The city starts construction of the 2.2-acre park this week.
"It's a wonderful little park off the boardwalk that will allow people a place to hang out. There's a very shaded grove of trees down the hill, and it's the first public part of reimagining Coney Island," says Rockwell.
The city reimagined the more than 90-year-old wooden carousel operating in Coney Island's future. Back in 2005, Mayor Michael Bloomberg bought the carousel for nearly $2 million, when it was up for sale. It was old but still operational.
The carousel is being restored in Ohio to make its grand return to a $30 million Steeplechase Plaza, which sits in the the footprint of the former Steeplechase amusement Park.
"The parachute jump has always been this amazing icon, but now you're going to get to enter Steeplechase Plaza underneath it. And as you peek through it, it'll pull you into the park," says Rockwell.
The city says the park and carousel will be ready for the 2013 season.