Coney Island Parachute Jump to be repaired

Posted Monday, September 30, 2002 4:48 AM | Contributed by feldspar

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz disclosed that the New York City Economic Development Corp. is about to begin a $5 million restoration of the 262-foot tower, once part of Steeplechase Park. The Parachute Jump featured a 250-foot drop in a seat for two. Modeled after Army training equipment and built for the 1939 World's Fair, the tower was closed in 1968 amid safety concerns.

Read more from The Daily News.

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Monday, September 30, 2002 5:19 AM
This will be really neat. I saw the tower a couple of weeks ago sitting there looking sad. Sure beats what they did to the Thunderbolt.
Monday, September 30, 2002 5:28 AM

I would love to see this running again. Amazing how long it's been sitting idle.

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Monday, September 30, 2002 5:29 AM

That's great news. I wonder thought what the capacity would be like? It seems pretty slow because the riders float down and it probably takes a minute or so?

I also hope that they clean up the park a little and restore it how it used to be. Maybe this is the first step to bringing the old Coney Island back!

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Monday, September 30, 2002 6:24 AM
rollergator's avatar Good deal. It looked kind of sad to see the parachute jump sitting idle, and it can't go anywhere due to its historical landmark stsatus.....It'd be great to see this be a part of a "Coney Renaissance"....kind of late for the T-bolt, though...
Monday, September 30, 2002 7:39 AM

I remember hearing that the tower would never be operational again. I guess with enough money, anything is possible! So much of the old coney has been taken away that it is nice to see something brought back.

Parachute towers are a lot more fun than they look. :)

I started out with nothing and still have most of it left.

Monday, September 30, 2002 8:25 AM
i doubt they are concered with the capacity, is that all enthusaists think about? it is more a part of history then they are worried how many pph it will pump out. just like the cyclone!
Monday, September 30, 2002 8:37 AM
I'd love to see this! The poor thing looked so forlorn when I visited. This would fit in well with the ongoing revitilization of the Coney area.
Monday, September 30, 2002 10:58 AM

Has there been any recorded deaths on it? If not, why was it closed in the first place.

Monday, September 30, 2002 11:16 AM
Well, Colonel, it's probably like so much other stuff on Coney Island. We're not talking about a big amusement park here, but rather a chunk of ground where entepreneurs would lease space and put up attractions, kind of like what we see in Niagara Falls, ON or Pigeon Forge, TN or Wisconsin Dells, WI. I have not heard of any fatal accidents on the thing, but the Daily News article indicated that it broke down more than once. Most likely, the owner allowed the thing to deteriorate by not performing regular maintenance, until it got to the point where it would cost more to fix it than it is worth to operate. I'd heard that the structure had been condemned as unsafe, but that it was one of these situations where it was too expensive to fix it and too expensive to tear it down. So it sat there rusting away.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Monday, September 30, 2002 11:21 AM
Vater's avatar Wow, excellent news. After years of hearing stories from my dad about how terrifying it was, I can experience it for myself!

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Monday, September 30, 2002 11:46 AM
I'm mad that they scrapped the first modern day parachute drop at Knott's...
Monday, September 30, 2002 12:48 PM

Here's some pics and info. on the Parachute Jump:

Monday, September 30, 2002 1:37 PM
From my experience, capacity isn't much of an issue at Coney Island, as far as big crowds (or lack there of).
Anyway, I agree; this is great news!
-Matt in Iowa
Monday, September 30, 2002 2:03 PM
I hope they can make it profitable. I wonder if any private firms will take part in its operation. Do you think they will consult Intamin again on this one? It'snice to see the city not trying to destroy Coney IslandLandmarks for a change.

How many rides must a man go on, before you may call him a fan?

Monday, September 30, 2002 3:45 PM
john peck's avatar I wish more parks would reopen many of their classic removed attractions (Ala Geauga Lakes Rocket Ship's)
Monday, September 30, 2002 4:44 PM

Old steel structures like that cost a fortune to maintain since they have so many small pieces of steel to prepare and paint every few years. I have to wonder if $5,000,000 is enough to restore it to operation. I hope so though since I would love to see it operate.

Capacity is important in 2 respects. First, it keeps you from having to waint all day. Ride enthusiasts spend an awful ot of their lives in line as is. Second, capacity is important to generate enough revenue to maintain the ride and keep it in operation. Without that it will join the scrap pile eventually.

Monday, September 30, 2002 7:30 PM
For $5M, you could probably tear down and re-erect.
Tuesday, October 1, 2002 3:39 AM

Wow, this is very suprising news. I'd like to add that the entire structure was repaired and repainted for the opening of the stadium so my guess is they are already half-way there.

Tuesday, October 1, 2002 11:04 PM

I'm mad that they scrapped the first modern day parachute drop at Knott's...

KRaXLeRidAh, are you sure that Knott's had the first. I was always under the impression that they brought up the rear on that one with both SFoT and SFGAdv having theirs first. I could be wrong though, but would like to know for sure.

And yeah...I'm still upset that Knott's closed their parachutes too. AND the Birdcage, AND the Haunted Shack, not to mention the missions, and the little volcano devil guy! (sigh) Too much has been lost there.

But GREAT news about Coney. Now if they just would restore the entire area they'd be all least for awhile. Why do these beachside things always seem to decline over time? Except for Santa Cruz it seems like it's always a problem to keep them nice.


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