While Coney Island’s historic Riegelmann Boardwalk has everything from food to amusements to entertainment, the almost 95-year-old fixture is missing one critical thing: landmark status.
In an effort to raise community awareness about designating the almost 2.5-mile stretch of boardwalk a landmark, Councilmember Mark Treyger – who introduced a resolution to City Council this past February – will head down to City Hall on Wednesday, May 4, and is asking Southern Brooklynites to join him.
“Not only is the Boardwalk one of Southern Brooklyn’s most significant destinations; it is a New York icon, too,” said Treyger. “New Yorkers and visitors from across the globe have been making memories along the Boardwalk’s 2.7 miles of wooden planks for nearly a century, and we must ensure that people can continue to create more memories on those same wooden planks going forward.”
The City Council’s Land Use Committee will be hearing testimony on the councilmember’s resolution – backed by a whopping 49 New York City councilmembers – at the Wednesday meeting. Treyger is urging “anyone who believes that the Boardwalk should receive landmark status” to attend the public hearing and offer testimony in front of the committee.
“The landmarking process in this city needs to be an equitable process, because the history and tradition of all of our city’s neighborhoods must be preserved,” added Treyger. “Too much has been lost already. The Boardwalk is a quintessential part of Southern Brooklyn’s history, and I am encouraging all residents of Southern Brooklyn, as well as any New Yorker that remembers walking down the Boardwalk, feeling the cool ocean breeze embracing them, to join me on May 4th at City Hall.”
According to Treyger, designating the boardwalk a scenic landmark would grant it official recognition as a historic site in Southern Brooklyn. The designation would also add a layer of protection and an opportunity for residents to weigh in on the future of the Boardwalk.
Currently, the City can make changes to the Boardwalk without approval from the community. One of the more recent changes include replacing portions of the boardwalk with concrete; a makeover that residents felt altered the boardwalk’s character.
“The Riegelmann Boardwalk is an icon of Southern Brooklyn since its opening in 1923. Tourists from all over the world travel to our neighborhood to visit Coney Island and its famous Boardwalk,” said Councilmember Chaim Deutsch, who, along with Treyger and Coney Island historian Charles Denson, filed an application and met with LPC officials last year in the hopes of moving the process along. “The Landmarks Preservation Commission needs to recognize the cultural significance of the Boardwalk and preserve its character for future generations. In addition to granting the Boardwalk the historical distinction that it has earned, designating it as a landmark will also prevent any further altering of its nature.”
The May 4 meeting will take place at City Hall at 11 a.m. in the Council Committee Room. In the meantime, Treyger is encouraging people to take to social media to support landmarking the Boardwalk, asking community members and visitors alike to post their favorite Boardwalk memories and photographs using the hashtag #LandmarkTheBoardwalk.
For more information, call Treyger’s legislative office at 212-788-7045.