Coney Island History | Site History | Current Coney Island Initiatives

“If Paris is France, then Coney Island, between June and September, is the World.”

— George C. Tilyou, founder of Steeplechase Park
and builder of the Pavilion of Fun

Site History

The Parachute Pavilion will be located on the boardwalk edge of the former Steeplechase Park site. Today, all that remains of the park is the rebuilt Steeplechase Pier and the landmarked Parachute Jump.  Steeplechase was once home to numerous attractions, including the famous Pavilion of Fun—a 270-foot-wide, 450-foot-long and 63-foot-high Art Nouveau steel-and-glass pavilion built in 1907. Steeplechase opened its doors in 1897, and became Coney Island’s longest-lived amusement park.

In 1964, Steeplechase Park was bought by developers who demolished it for a high-rise housing development. When the necessary zoning change could not be obtained, the site was sold to the city and subsequently leased to various amusement park entrepreneurs.  As plan after plan failed to come to fruition, the site became a symbol of Coney Island’s economic woes. Finally, in 1998, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani selected it as the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, Brooklyn’s new minor league baseball team, and KeySpan Park opened in 2001 to sell-out crowds. Steeplechase Pier, 1000 feet out into the Atlantic, remains an active part of the Coney Island shore.

Often referred to as Brooklyn's Eiffel Tower, the 262-foot-high Parachute Jump, which in 1941 was moved to Steeplechase Park from the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, Queens, became Coney Island's most exciting ride.

It was modeled after Army training equipment and featured a 250-foot drop in a seat for two. The Jump closed in 1968 amid safety concerns and became a New York City-designated landmark in 1989. It still stands at the edge of the former park site, poised to receive the next exciting addition to Steeplechase—the Parachute Pavilion. For more information on the Parachute Jump, visit

Further details regarding existing site conditions are provided in the accompanying drawing and photographs. These files and images are provided for the purposes of the competition and not for any other professional or non-professional use.

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