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Coney Island : 150 Years of Rides, Fires, Floods, the Rich, the Poor and Finally Robert Moses
by William J. Phalen




Overview -
Before the Civil War, Coney Island boasted a beach, a dozen small hotels with ramshackle bathhouses, some chowder stands and a few saloons. After the war, it was taken over by powerful individuals who made its 0.7 square miles a domain of the wealthy. By 1905, with the population of New York City at four million, the city's amusement park builders designed an entertainment wonderland on the island that even the poor could enjoy, creating a "nickel empire," where visitors paid five cents for the subway, five cents for a Nathan's hot dog and five cents for a ride. In 1910, Coney Island saw 20 million visitors—more than Disneyland and Disney World combined could claim 70 years later, adjusted for population growth. Through the decades, the island has seen changes of fortune, floods and fires, cycles of decay and rehabilitation. Yet the ultimate power on the island was and is the government of the city of New York, which—for good or ill—has made Coney Island what it is today.

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Overview

Before the Civil War, Coney Island boasted a beach, a dozen small hotels with ramshackle bathhouses, some chowder stands and a few saloons. After the war, it was taken over by powerful individuals who made its 0.7 square miles a domain of the wealthy. By 1905, with the population of New York City at four million, the city's amusement park builders designed an entertainment wonderland on the island that even the poor could enjoy, creating a "nickel empire," where visitors paid five cents for the subway, five cents for a Nathan's hot dog and five cents for a ride. In 1910, Coney Island saw 20 million visitors—more than Disneyland and Disney World combined could claim 70 years later, adjusted for population growth. Through the decades, the island has seen changes of fortune, floods and fires, cycles of decay and rehabilitation. Yet the ultimate power on the island was and is the government of the city of New York, which—for good or ill—has made Coney Island what it is today.


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Details

  • ISBN: 9781476623733
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers
  • Imprint: McFarland
  • Date: July 2016
 

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