The Parachute Jump has long been out of operation and deteriorating. Plans have been made to refurbish it with a new, improved Coney Island.
In September 2016, a proposed sculpture called "The Vessel" at Manhattan's Hudson Yards was dubbed "New York's Eiffel Tower."
Wikipedia: Coney Island
Parachute Jump, originally the Life Savers Parachute Jump at the 1939 New York World's Fair, which was the first ride of its kind. Patrons were hoisted some 190 feet in the air before being allowed to drop using guy-wired parachutes. This landmark ride, closed for years, was completely dismantled, cleaned, painted and restored, but there are varying opinions on whether it should reopen as a ride, or stand as a symbolic structure (it is often referred to as Brooklyn's "Eiffel Tower");
Today, way down on the beach by its lonesome, stands the long-rusting, elegant lacework of the Parachute Jump. Sometimes called Brooklyn's Eiffel Tower, a not altogether absurd comparison, the Parachute Jump is a steel tower with a top that fans out abruptly and horizontally. It was a primitive, tamer version of a bungee jump. Hoisted patrons would be strapped into the seats and experience a sudden fall, a snap back, and then swing free. It first stood at the 1939 World's Fair; in 1941 it was moved to Coney's Steeplechase Park.
In September 2002, preservationists welcomed the announcement that the long-unused steel tower was set for a $5 million structural refurbishment by the not-for-profit New York City Economic Development Corporation, under contract with the city. What generated giddy headlines, however, was Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz's suggestion at a Sept. 26 press briefing that the Parachute Jump might be returned to operation with 21st-century technology.
The idea is tantalizing, since Coney's other landmarks, Astroland's Cyclone roller coaster and Deno's Wonder Wheel—75- and 82-years-old, respectively—still attract ride enthusiasts and nostalgia buffs from all over the world. Often referred to as Brooklyn's Eiffel Tower, the Parachute Jump endured years of neglect and threats of demolition before acquiring city landmark status in 1988. Five years later, city workers stabilized and repainted the tower in its original colors: red, yellow and blue.
Often referred to as Brooklyn's Eiffel Tower, the 262-foot-high Parachute Jump, which in 1941 was moved to Steeplechase Park from the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, Queens, became Coney Island's most exciting ride.
The Parachute Jump was declared a Landmark on July 10, 1977, so the wrecking ball cannot touch it. The tower, painted a deep red, is known by many as Brooklyn's Eiffel Tower. Be sure to stop by and take a gander while strolling down the boardwalk.
5 November 1969, New York Times, "The Parachute Jump" (poem) by Mark McCloskey, pg. 46:
From the highway far off the
looks like the Eiffel Tower
holding a parasol.
20 August 1983, New York Times, pg. L26:
"To spend a half-million dollars to repair a totally useless structure -- it's not the Eiffel Tower, and even that has a restaurant," Mr. Stern said.
(Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern -- ed.)
7 September 1984, New York Times, pg. C19:
The Irish Fair, now in its fourth year, will take place at the foot of the old parachute jump -- sometimes known as Brooklyn's Eiffel Tower -- in Coney Island.
15 November 1987, New York Times, "Streetscapes: The Coney Island Parachute Jump" by Christopher Gray, pg. R14:
In 1977, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the structure a city landmark. The chairwoman, Beverly Moss Spatt, called it the "Eiffel Tower" of Brooklyn, but the Board of Estimate overturned the designation in the same year and the Parks Department announced the impending demolition of the Parachute Jump.
New York City • Buildings/Housing/Parks • Sunday, February 19, 2006 • Permalink