Thursday, October 08, 2015
Today is the eighth installment of GDB featuring vintage postcards from the collection of Ken Martinez! This time we're visiting Coney Island - but (perhaps) not the one you are thinking of! Here's Ken:
Before Kings Island there was Coney Island
Not the Coney Island of Brooklyn, New York, but of Cincinnati, Ohio. Coney Island was built along the banks of the Ohio River which allowed riverboats to bring patrons to the park. Because of its location it was also prone to flooding. Edward Schott, the owner and son of the original founder of Coney Island, always stressed cleanliness in the park by making sure trash was not left lying around and the landscaping was manicured and well kept. When Walt and Roy Disney visited amusement parks across the country in 1953 for ideas about Disneyland, one of the parks that impressed them was Coney Island, Ohio. Due to Schott's efforts, which gave Coney Island, Ohio the clean amusement park image, he was one of several key men consulted by Disney during the planning of Disneyland.
The Land of Oz was the kiddie-land section of the park. Later, Kings Island would feature a theme area for children called the "Happyland of Hanna-Barbera".
Here's an example of the beautiful and meticulous landscaping throughout the park. The architectural style of the Skee Ball building is pretty cool too.
The Shooting Star was an L-shaped out-and-back wooden coaster built from the original lift hill and final spiral of the old Clipper coaster.
Here the Sky Ride travels along the Coney Island Mall. The park looks great with the formal landscaping and beautiful central fountain.
This last postcard sort of reminds me of Disneyland with the Sky Ride gliding across while the fireworks explode in the sky.
In 1969, Taft Broadcasting purchased Coney Island and announced it was building a new theme park near Cincinnati. Following the 1970 season, the park was closed and many of the rides were transferred to the new theme park known as Kings Island. (One of the theme areas of the new park was "Coney Island" which recreated the look and feel of the old park). Coney Island was popular right up to the end and some of its components still remained open after the amusement park was closed. The park still exists today and is an amusement center once again, albeit on a smaller scale.
Hope you enjoyed!
Information source material:
The Great American Amusement Park, copyright 1976 by Gary Kyriazi
Funland U.S.A. copyright 1978 by Tim Onosko
The American Amusement Park copyright 2001 - Dale Samuelson
THANK YOU as always to Ken Martinez for sharing his awesome collection of Vintage amusement park postcards with us! Stay tuned for Part Nine, coming soon.