Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Astrotower's Fate Stands In The Balance

Photo by gritchelle (

The 43 year old, 275-foot "Space Tower" (15 feet taller than the Parachute Jump) stands still in the balance as its fate is decided upon by the city's decision to keep it in the area. That's if the city is willing to split the cost (approximately $400,000) of relocating it to another spot in Coney Island - most likely west of Keyspan Park. Carol Albert, owner of the recently sold Astroland offered to share cost to move it if the city would accept it.

But Albert added, as the NYPost reported:

If the city doesn't accept her offer, she said, she has a buyer who wants to
move it to an undisclosed amusement park somewhere down South. "It's a real icon
for Coney Island that's just as visible as the Parachute Jump, and it would be a
real shame if it left the area," she said.

The city's Economic
Development Corp. confirmed it received Albert's offer and is considering

"The city, taking ownership of the Astrotower is an interesting
idea that warrants exploration, but we would first need to better understand the
associated costs," said Joshua Sirefman, interim president of the EDC and the
chairman of its Coney Island Development Corp.

Meanwhile, some
Coney Island residents are considering pushing for landmark status for the
Astrotower to ensure it stays.

Built in 1963, the ride is a
rotating, glass-enclosed compartment that takes passengers to the top of the
tower. It serves as a moving observatory, offering magnificent views of
the ocean and city. Astroland will open for a final season next year.

It's quite difficult to imagine the Astrotower to be part of anything Thor if it were to be landmarked. For them it would be an eye sore. And as had been proven in the past, landmark status is reversible. Many landmarked structures have had their landmark status lifted to make way for development. The only options for the fate of the tower would be for the city to cough up the $200,000 to move it and hope that doing so will not destabilize it for further operation - and plant it somewhere near their B&B Carousel. Or if not demolished, it would find itself in a new home showing riders 360◦ panoramic views of Busch Gardens or Weeki Wachee.

Coney I. "Tower" Struggle [NYPost]

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