The Coney Island Boardwalk is already considered a landmark by many, but legislation may make the title permanent.
In 1923, the Coney Island boardwalk opened to the public and since then has become an iconic staple of New York City life. Not only New Yorkers, but tourists from all over the world make the trip to Coney Island every year to enjoy the rides, games, food and ambiance. However, wear and tear on the near century old wooden boardwalk has spurred a movement to bring the iconic attraction historical landmark status in order to preserve its aesthetic and other worldly charm. According to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the designation could be put in place this spring or summer.
The effort to make the Coney Island boardwalk a historic landmark has been going on for quite some time now, picking up traction in 2014 after Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc across New York and New Jersey. This past Thursday at a board meeting, the Landmark Commission’s chair stated that the board will first vote to put the boardwalk on its calendar of items, hold a public hearing on it, and then vote on whether or not to designate it.
The goal of granting the boardwalk landmark status is principally to ensure that the 2.5 mile long wooden promenade remains just that- wood. While park officials insist that cement and fake wood alternatives would be a cheaper and sturdier option moving forward, the wooden parts of the boardwalk actually held up better than the parts made of concrete after Sandy hit.
According to preservation activists, tropical wood is supposed to last a century. In order to maintain the historical integrity of the boardwalk, landmark status would make such logistic changes like a change in raw materials, nearly impossible.
Featured image: commons.wikimedia.org