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Dreamland Fire Centennial - Coney Island Walking Tour Led by Charles Denson
The Coney Island
History Project is pleased to announce a series of walking tours
of the historic landmarks and current attractions of the amusement
district. Beginning on Memorial Day Weekend, tours will be
offered on Sundays at 12:15 PM and to groups by advance reservation. (Note: There's a typo on the printed tickets that will say 12:15 AM, but please be assured the tours are at 12:15 PM!)
We're launching the season with a special walking tour in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Dreamland Fire on Friday, May 27, at 12:15 PM. This tour will be offered again on Sunday, May 29, at 12:15 PM. Led by Charles Denson, historian and director of the Coney Island History Project, the tours will also preview the History Project's exhibition on the Dreamland Fire Centennial, set to open on Saturday, May 28.
On May 27, 1911, a huge fire illuminated the sky and sent fire companies from all over Brooklyn rushing to Coney Island. Dreamland Park was ablaze. Unlike Steeplechase Park or the Bowery which were rebuilt after being destroyed by fire, Dreamland would be no more.
In the Coney Island History Project's exhibition, historic images of Dreamland before and after the fire will be juxtaposed with the site as it is today and how it developed over the last hundred years. The exhibit will be illuminated by oral history interviews with the 101-year-old son of the Coney Island police chief on duty that night and the granddaughter of the Coney Island fire chief who fought the blaze.
FAQs about the Coney Island History Project Walking Tours
The Coney Island History Project's walking tour series is currently scheduled for Sundays from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. Tours are also available to groups by advance reservation. All tours will begin at the History Project's new exhibition center under the Wonder Wheel's iconic entrance sign on Denos D. Vourderis Place (West 12th Street), just a few steps off the Boardwalk. The 1-1/2 hour tours include a talk on History Project's Dreamland exhibit and then proceed to the New York Aquarium, located on the site of the former Dreamland Park.
tours end at the landmark Childs Restaurant Building on the Boardwalk. The tours will cover Coney Island's official
landmarks--the Parachute Jump, Cyclone, Wonder Wheel, both Childs
Buildings and Shore Theater--as well as Nathan's, Ruby's, Paul's, the
Astrotower, and other historic attractions. Tours are approximately 1 mile in length and wheelchair accessible.
Tickets are $20. Advance purchase of tickets online through eventbrite is recommended since tours are limited to 10-12 people and are expected to fill up early. If a tour has not sold out online, the remaining tickets will be available for cash purchase on the day of the tour when the History Project opens at 12 noon.
All walking tours will be led by Charles Denson or Coney Island History Project staff. CIHP tour guides are professionals who live, work or play in Coney Island and have a long association with the History Project. Our tours are based on Charles Denson's award-winning book Coney Island: Lost and Found, the oral history interviews in our archive and other primary sources. For the walking tour schedule and additional information, please visit our eventbrite reservations page.
Walking tours are held rain or shine. After purchasing a ticket, you will
receive an email confirmation which will include the phone number you
can call on the morning of the tour in case of inclement weather. We reserve the right to cancel tours in the event
of potentially dangerous weather.
If you have a question not addressed in the FAQs or to arrange a group tour, please e-mail email@example.com
The Coney Island History Project , founded in 2004, is a not-for-profit organization that aims to increase awareness of Coney Island's legendary and colorful past and to encourage appreciation of the Coney Island neighborhood of today. Our mission is to record, archive and share oral history interviews; provide access to historical artifacts and documentary material through educational exhibits, events and a website; and honor community leaders and amusement pioneers through our Coney Island Hall of Fame.
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