Astrotower anniversary

On the anniversary of the eve of day we said goodbye in 2013 to this Coney Island icon… this a sketch of the Astrotower that legendary sideshow banner painter gave to me. The Astrotower was the last remaining icon of the old amusement park, Astroland. She started to sway a few days before the 4th. No one believed it. Then it became real & they shut down the Parks. They shut down the boardwalk right up until my shop. Then they disassembled her bit by bit on July 3rd. On the 4th the sun was shining bright & the crowds assembled. A majority of Coney Island was still shut down in fear of her falling. In the morning they disassembled her last remaining pieces. She was gone. The barricades came down. And the party raged on as if nothing had happened. But a piece of Coney Islands history was gone. I’ll never think of the Fourth of July without remembering the last day of the Astrotower. This experience, the iconic Astrotower & its mysterious howl are all in the book I am working on. From “For residents, the faded pole and its vestigial deck were “much more than an amusement ride. It served as a symbol of hope. To those of us living in Coney Island in the early 1960s, the tower represented the future of Coney Island, a sign that the neighborhood would survive the city’s urban renewal schemes,” Denson writes. “The tower was never a thrill ride. It provided an overview, an aerial perspective on Coney Island… The Astrotower had idiosyncrasies: it liked to sing and dance, to sway in the wind as the cables hummed a mournful tune. This proved to be its undoing.”