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The Coney Island that welcomed huge crowds as 2016 faded into 2017 – with pyrotechnics, a light show at the Parachute Jump as well as free rides on popular seaside attractions – is very different, yet in some ways similar to the beachfront amusement area of yore.

This vintage photo of one of Coney’s old rides – vastly different from today’s thrill rides that make up one aspect of the neighborhood’s attractiveness to visitors – harks back to the resort’s genteel origins. Note the hatted and suited men gathered in the photo’s foreground as just one example of how times and Coney have changed.

The architecture of the early amusement parks is also vastly different. While the Cyclone, the Wonder Wheel and the B&B Carousell date back decades, the last of the old amusement parks, Steeplechase, closed in 1964 and was razed in 1966 by then-owner Fred Trump (the father of President-elect Donald Trump), who initially planned to build housing on the site.


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