We are saddened to report that Thor reduced the beautiful and historic Bank of Coney Island building to rubble last week. The 1923 classical revival structure had survived for nearly nine decades, testimony to the past strength of the Coney Island business community.
We feel that this is both an unfortunate loss to Coney Island; but also a tremendous squandered opportunity, and we strongly condemn Thor’s destructive and short-sighted treatment of the amusement area. Save Coney Island and leading New York preservation groups had urged the preservation and reuse of the Bank and continues to advocate likewise on behalf of the other threatened historic structures.
Over the summer, we held dozens of walking tours, helped organize a panel, and published an Op-Ed to raise awareness of ways in which these buildings could have been part of an exciting 21st Century Coney Island. We filed an application with the New York State Historic Preservation Office, which might offer financial incentives to help that happen. And we released a rendering showing what the bank building would have looked like re-imagined as a Bowery Ballroom-style music venue and events space.
As you take a moment to imagine what might have been, rest assured that we will continue to fight to help ensure that future redevelopment honors Coney’s rich history and restores it as the Playground of the World.
Read more about Thor’s demolition of the Bank of Coney Island here: