Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk

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First Symphony of the Sea


This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found postedwithin the park.

This 332-foot long, ten-foot tall cast-concrete sculpture wall by artist Toshio Sasaki (1946-2007) was installed on the boardwalk outside the Aquarium for Wildlife Conservation in 1992, and is the artist’s first major public commission.

Facing the beach, the free-standing wall features terrazzo and ceramic shapes with motifs of ocean waves, fishes, and zygotes. As the viewer travels the length of the piece, the images become more and more primitive, suggesting the evolution of marine life. The four-ton piece was sponsored by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs’ Percent for Art program, and was installed to celebrate the Aquarium’s then-new Sea Cliffs Exhibition, which features a state-of-the-art marine mammal habitat. The work won an Art Commission Award for Excellence in Design in 1992.

Updated Apr 04, 2007

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  • Mural on free-standing wall
  • Mural on free-standing wall
  • Mural on free-standing wall

First Symphony of the Sea Details

  • Location: Riegelmann Boardwalk / Louis Valentino Jr. Way
  • Sculptor: Toshio Sasaki
  • Architect: Goldstone & Hinz
  • Description: Mural on free-standing wall
  • Materials: Terrazzo, ceramic, and concrete
  • Dimensions: H: 10' L: 332'
  • Cast: 1992
  • Dedicated: June 26, 1993
  • Donor: Percent for Art, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

Please note, the NAME field includes a primary designation as well as alternate namingsoften in common or popular usage. The DEDICATED field refers to the most recent dedication, most often, butnot necessarily the original dedication date. If the monument did not have a formal dedication, the yearlisted reflects the date of installation.

For more information, please contact Art & Antiquities at (212) 360-8163

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