The dream of Jack and Irving Rosenthal was to build a roller coaster. With $100,000 to invest in their dream, they purchased land at Surf and West 10th Street in Brooklyn, New York and employed Vernon Keenan to design a coaster. Harry C. Baker supervised the construction and local companies supplied the materials. The project ran over budget somewhere between an extra $45,000 to $75,000. Not only did the pair build a roller coaster, but without realizing it, they built what is now a national treasure.
Astroland was a major part of Coney Island history that was a recreational destination in the New York area where teens and adults alike went to unwind and have some fun. With over a dozen great attractions, most prominent among them the famous wooden Cyclone roller coaster, Coney Island's Astroland had something for everyone. Keep reading to find out more about the history of Astroland.
Origins of the park
In 1955, as Americans were dreaming of space travel, Dewey Albert and several of his friends announced that they were going to construct a new amusement park with an outer space theme on Coney Island. Initally dubbed Wonderland, the park eventually took the name of Astroland. It opened in 1962 as a space-age theme park.
In 1975, much of the park burned down in a serious fire. However, many attractions were quickly rebuilt. This fire was the first serious setback in Astroland's history.
Changes and closing
In 2006, the Albert family sold the park to Thor Industries, who planned to redevelop Astroland into an all-year resort while allowing the Alberts to relocate a few key attractions to other sites. However, after complex negotiations among Thor, the Alberts and other landowners on Coney Island, the plan fell through and Astroland closed down for good in 2008. While other attractions have since opened on the same site, the closing marked the end of a traditional New York recreational destination.
Although it has been closed since 2008, Astroland and its kitschy, space-age fun live on in the memory of a generation of New Yorkers.