BRONX, N.Y. - When "Freedomland" opened in the Bronx in 1960, it was considered the Disneyland of New York and the largest educational amusement park in the nation.
It closed down after just five seasons, but many still remember it fondly.
On Saturday, dozens of people who visited "Freedomland" as children came together to pay tribute to the now defunct park.
Rob Friedman has been archiving all things "Freedomland" for years. He tracked down pieces of the park’s tug boats that had been sold to an amusement park. It was in Connecticut and the park had plans of taking down the ride and throwing away most of the parts.
Friedman kept them in his backyard for years.
He’s giving the two paddle wheels and a steam pipe back to Co-Op City. It’s placed next to the commemorative plaque, for all New Yorkers to visit.
"Freedomland" had an American History theme, was spilt up into several regions and shaped like the 48 continental states. It gave families a chance to travel from the east to the west coast of the country without leaving the borough.
"As a teenager, I went to junior high school on Mosholu Parkway. And that's when we first discovered 'Freedomland'. I remember the shootout, and I remember the boats, and I remember great concerts. We had wonderful rock-n-roll concerts in those days," said a woman named Eva who visited as a child.
The park closed down after going bankrupt and was quickly replaced with Co-Op City, the largest housing cooperative in the nation.
Co-Op city is now the home of several high-rise buildings with 50,000 residents, a large shopping mall and plaza. Still, to some it will always be "Freedomland".
Organizers have had the artifacts in their possession for a couple years but they waited to make the big reveal to mark Co-Op City’s 50th anniversary.
The River Bay Corporation, the management company at Co-Op City, is planning to set up a display case at the site. They’re calling on everyone on people who have memorabilia from the park to donate it.