Steeplechase Park

The Daily Plant : Friday, November 15, 2002


The Parachute Jump, one of Brooklyn's foremost historic landmarks, is the last remnant of the original Steeplechase Park at Coney Island. To insures its existence for the enjoyment of future generations, Parks, the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, and the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) are working together to help further restore and stabilize this great part of New York City's past. The $5 million project is made possible through funds allocated by the Mayor for improvements to Coney Island in conjuncture with the building of Keyspan Park.

So far, these funds have helped to rebuild Coney Island with projects like three new comfort stations and a lifeguard station, three new shade pavilions, two new playgrounds and two palm tree-shaped spray showers. New entrances to the boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue and West 23rd and West 24th Streets, nine information kiosks, 18-20 volleyball courts and new drinking fountains along the boardwalk. Finally, a brand new artificial turf little league/soccer field, and playground, that sit adjacent to Keyspan Park. The renovation of this icon of Brooklyn is a fitting next step in the rebirth of the Coney Island.

"I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg, EDC and the Parks Department for supporting this very important endeavor because there is nothing more Brooklyn than the Parachute Jump," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz in a comment provided to the Plant. "Since Coney Island is undergoing such a tremendous economic renaissance, refurbishing and possibly reopening the Parachute Jump, if it makes sense economically and could be done safely, would be another important step in the right direction. That is why I am happy to fund a feasibility study, to be performed by EDC, to determine if we can bring it back to life. While it may never be what it once was when I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn, that doesn't mean this historic piece of Americana can't be updated for the 21st century."

"Refurbishing the parachute jump as a monument to Coney Island's glorious past is a fitting final touch to the area's revitalization and what promises to be a great future," said EDC President Andrew M. Alper. "The redevelopment of Coney Island is one of the best examples of our efforts to encourage economic development and improve the quality of life in neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs."

Erected in 1939 for the New York World's Fair at Flushing Meadows in Queens, the parachute jump was moved to its present location soon after, in 1941. The Jump operated continuously brining joy to over half a million users a year until 1968. In July 1977, the Jump was designated an official landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. That October, the Board of Estimate, doubting the Jump's structural integrity, rescinded its landmark status, but the Jump was eventually put on the National Register of Historical Places in 1980. Finally, in 1989, the Jump was designated a City landmark after its structural soundness was proven, a testament to its solid engineering. In 1991, a $700,000 two-phase plan was undertaken to clear debris, such as hanging cables, from the Jump and to stabilize the structure.

Written by Jeffrey Sandgrund


(Friday, November 24, 1989)



Twin pine oaks are about all that remain the same at the formerly overgrown, littered street triangle at the intersection of Broadway and Van Cortlandt Park South in the Bronx. Bronx Parks forces have transformed the eyesore into a lovely open space, with 10 trees and several flower beds adding color to its cobblestone surface.

Last Friday, Assemblyman Oliver Koppell, Bronx Parks Commissioner James R. Ryan, Commissioner of the Department of Transportation (DOT) David Gurin, and Warren Castaneira, Assistant to the Bronx Borough President, unveiled a sign designating the greened area Twin Oaks Triangle.


"We are not born bad; everybody has something good inside them.

Some hide it, some neglect it, but it is there."

Mother Teresa


Directions to Steeplechase Park

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