The 1964 closing of Steeplechase Park sparked a steep decline in Coney Island that lasted until the early 1980s. Coney's rebirth was brought about in part by the arts including the work of Dick Zigun, Harvey Fierstein, Charles Ludlum, Elaine Norman and Charles Denson.
They drew inspiration from Coney's honky tonk past and their work, which helped draw visitors back to the boardwalk, included Sideshows by the Seashore, Madam Lily’s aging World in Wax Museum and the Spookhouse. This exhibit takes visitors to the Coney of the 80s and 90s with installations and artifacts from the era including footage from the first Mermaid Parade.
This exhibit is part of a tri-part series on Coney Island this fall including Visions of an American Dreamland at the Brooklyn Museum and Coney Island USA’s Sodom by the Sea Salon. For more information, visit citylore.org.