Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Coney Island Death Watch: How Do You Move a 275-Foot Tower?

Coney Dusk II

What will become of Coney Island's landmark Astrotower, the 275-foot tower offering bird's eye views of Coney, when Astroland closes? Today's Post--the paper fast becoming the oracle through which various Coney sources choose to speak--reports that the Albert family has offered the tower to the city so that it can be moved elsewhere in Coney. The family also says they're considering selling it to an amusement park somewhere in the South. We have no doubt that a genuine Coney item like the tower would have appeal as an attraction in another park, just like all of the Steeplechase Park attractions were sold off to other amusement parks in the 1960s.

Carol Hill Albert told the Post, "It's a real icon for Coney Island that's just as visible as the Parachute Jump, and it would be a real shame if it left the area." Economic Development Corp. interim president Joshua Sirefman terms taking ownership of the Astrotower "an interesting idea that warrants exploration" pending understanding of the cost.

There is growing sentiment among Coney Island residents and fans to try to landmark the tower so that it will be saved. The Coney icon is more than 40 years old, having opened in 1963 and offering passengers a ride to the top of the tower in a rotating observatory.



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