(Click image to enlarge)
“The Bank of Coney Island could be restored and re-purposed as a Bowery-Ballroom-style event space,” said Save Coney Island spokesman Juan Rivero. “This would not only preserve one of Coney's most attractive and historic structures, but also give new life to the amusement area and contribute to its revitalization.”
While Thor Equities has to date not expressed interest in revitalizing the structure, Save Coney Island hopes that another entity might purchase the site from Thor and adaptively reuse the Bank of Coney Island building.
“New York has a track record of saving wonderful structures from the chopping block at the eleventh hour,” said Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council. “Grand Central, the High Line, even Coney Island's own Parachute Jump and Cyclone were all once threatened with demolition, but were ultimately restored and have become New York City icons. The Bank of Coney Island could be the next.”
[The history the Bank of Coney Island from the Save Coney Islands press release after the jump]:
From the press release by Save Coney Island group
T h e B a n k o f C o n e y I s l a n d
located 3001 - 3017 West 12th Street
Threatened with demolition by Thor Equities
(Image on right top: Bank of Coney Island Building, ca. 1940 (from NYC Transit Museum)
(Image on right bottom: Bank of Coney Island Building today)
The Bank of Coney Island was originally formed to serve and strengthen the businesses and industry of the immediate area, most of which were related to amusements. Among the early founders of the Bank of Coney Island were other well-known Coney Island land and amusement owners. These included Frederick Henderson of Henderson’s Hall; Charles Feltman of Feltman’s beer garden (where the hotdog was invented); Henry Grashorn of the Grashorn hardware store; and William J. Ward, proprietor of the Ward’s baths and other amusements. Built at the dawn of the Nickel Empire, the Bank of Coney Island building represents the solidi cation of the Coney Island’s business community that helped de ne an era of stabilization and public investment in the neighborhood.