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MARCH 2013
March 24: Preview the History Project's Season on Coney's Opening Day

You're invited to preview the Coney Island History Project's exhibition center 
season on Coney Island's Opening Day. Located on West 12th Street at the entrance to Deno's Wonder Wheel Park, our exhibition center--
rebuilt after Superstorm Sandy--will be open from 1 PM to 6 PM on Sunday, March 24.  Admission is free of charge.  
Palm Sunday is the official season opener for Coney Island's rides and Cyclops attractions. Starting at 11 AM with the annual tradition of the "Blessing of the Rides," the Vourderis family of Deno's Wonder Wheel Park will host an opening day celebration. This year, to celebrate Coney's reopening and comeback from Sandy, rides on the Wonder Wheel are free all day on Opening Day. Our special guest at the History Project will be the Cyclops from Deno's Spook-A-Rama dark ride, which was been restored and refurbished after Sandy. Hope to see you at the festivities!

Stop by our exhibit center on March 24 to view historic artifacts, photographs, maps, ephemera and films of Coney Island's colorful past and preview selections from our 2013 season.

Steeplechase Pier During Sandy
Steeplechase Pier during Storm

The Storm


We'll exhibit films and photos about Superstorm Sandy's impact on Coney Island. As part of our continuing oral history project we'll be recording personal stories about the storm's aftermath and how it affected the Coney Island community. The public is invited to come to our exhibit center for an audio or video recording, or we can come to your home or business.     


Coney Island Creek Copyright Charles Denson 
Headwaters of Coney Island Creek


Coney Island Creek

Charles Denson's 40-year documentation of this fascinating and obscure estuary will be told in photos, interviews, and a soon-to-be released film documentary. The creek's history, ecology, and importance to Coney's past and future will be explored. Coney Island Creek gained notoriety during Superstorm Sandy when it overflowed its banks and flooded Coney Island. The catastrophic flooding that occurred might have been prevented if the vast wetlands that once surrounded the creek had not been filled and developed over the last century. Solutions to the storm surge problem will be a focus of the exhibit.

Wonder Wheel 



The Wonder Wheel: Coney Island's Iconic Amusement Landmark


As the 1920 Wonder Wheel approaches the century mark, we will examine how it was invented and constructed, how it operates, and, most importantly, tell the story of the family who owns it and maintains it as Coney's premier attraction. Three generations of the Vourderis family have kept the ride running with the greatest care and safety record of any amusement in Coney Island. Photos, postcards, interviews.

Larry Millard Playland Murals 
Playland Murals

The Curious Artwork of Larry Millard

The story of mysterious Coney Island artist Millard, whose murals covered the now-demolished Playland Arcade. We will exhibit several of the original murals as well as exhibit documentation of the works that did not survive demolition. Millard had a bizarre sense of humor and a unique cartoon and lettering style. Were his illustrations actually based on his own life story?     


About the Coney Island History Project


The Coney Island History Project, founded in 2004, is a not-for-profit Coney Island History Project organization that aims to increase awareness of Coney Island's legendary and colorful past and to encourage appreciation of the Coney Island neighborhood of today. Our mission is to record, archive and share oral history interviews; provide access to historical artifacts and documentary material through educational exhibits, events and a website; and honor community leaders and amusement pioneers through our Coney Island Hall of Fame.

You'll find the Coney Island History Project's exhibition center under the Wonder Wheel's iconic entrance sign on Denos D. Vourderis Place (West 12th Street), just a few steps off the Boardwalk. We'll also be open on March 31, Easter Sunday, and for special events in the spring--visit our Facebook page or follow us on twitter for updates.  Our regular exhibition season is from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. Hours are 12 noon to 6 PM on Saturdays, Sunday and holidays.

The exhibit center is open year-round by appointment for schools and groups. Throughout the year, individuals and groups may schedule a private walking tour and visit to our exhibition center on a weekday or weekend. For additional info e-mail




Coney Island History Project on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr   









For Coney news, conversation, photos and special features like "On this Day in History," visit the Coney Island History Project's Facebook Page and "like" us. Follow us on Twitter for news and views in 140 characters and check out our  photos on Flickr     


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