During his final State of the Borough speech, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz announced plans to revive Coney Island’s historic Childs restaurant building — a protected city landmark that once housed a thriving business in the early twentieth century. After years of community resistance from local synagogues and residents afraid of the potential increase in traffic and noise to the area, Markowitz and city officials have come to a deal to transform a portion of the building and adjoining space into a $58 million, 5,000-seat music hall, amphitheater and eatery. The new space will support future community cultural events, including summer concert series, graduations and festivals.
Keeping the integrity and retaining the palatial facade of the 90-year-old Childs restaurant terracotta building, developers would revive part of the structure as a restaurant and breach the western wall to create a backstage for a new theater. The project would take an estimated two years to complete.
According to The New York Times, Dick Zigun, artistic director of Coney Island USA, is thrilled by the deal which follows the re-opening of the Luna Park amusement center. “New York has an amusement park again worthy of New York City,” Zigun said to The Times.
The Childs building is currently being used as a warehouse for Occupy Sandy. Markowitz said he would use $48 million from his capital budget, in addition to the city’s pledged $10 million, toward the amphitheater, which would be open to the community year-round.
Via Grub Street