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Coney Island: The Decline & Death of an American Icon

Coney Island: The Decline & Death of an American Icon

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Coney Island has long been an icon of American amusement. For years, Coney Island was ahead of its time and hundreds of thousands flocked to the beachside retreat annually. But the area and parks began a great decline which lasted for decades and introduced gangs, crime, and neighboring housing projects. Buildings became vacant or decayed to a state that their only recourse was to be torn down. However, much of the gritty, seedy character of Coney Island remained and the summers often enticed business owners to rough it out over the winter months. Circus sideshows, souvenir shops, eateries and amusement parks kept Coney Island in the limelight for decades. Most notably the Wonder Wheel Ferris Wheel and the Cyclone Roller Coaster. Now a new corporation has been granted a ten year lease of the 6.2 acres of Coney Island known as the boardwalk. Central Amusements International has gone in and literally given businesses which have made the boardwalk their home, in some case more than 60 years, just 15 days to vacate. They have announced plans to build high-rise hotels, sports bars and even turn the legendary boardwalk into a ?cementwalk?. This is a last look at this America icon before its ultimate and untimely death at the hands of a corporate giant.