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Coney Island landmark was removed on Independence Day

Luna Park’s Astro Tower is taken down amid fears it would fall

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The Astro Tower looks much more earthbound now.

Amid fears that the defunct rotating observation tower would topple over, Luna Park, which surrounds the tower, and the city on July 4 tore down the pole that stood 270 feet tall.

Longtime Coney Islanders said they were heartbroken to see it gone. The tower was the last vestige of Astroland, a space-themed amusement area that opened in 1962 and came down in 2009 to make way for Luna Park.

“I’m very sad about it, and I’m sure anybody with any history in Coney Island is too,” said Carol Albert, whose late husband Jerry Albert founded Astroland and operated it until its demise.

On July 2, an unknown Coney Island visitor reported that the Astro Tower was swaying in the wind. The witness’s emergency call caused a panic and the Fire and Buildings departments evacuated Luna Park in order to investigate. Much of the People’s Playground was shut down for the next 48 hours.

A Luna Park spokesman downplayed the danger that afternoon, arguing the tower was designed to bend in the breeze. The spokesman suggested that the person who reported the leaning tower had been overzealous.

“Not sure why there is a problem here,” the spokesman said.

But the next day, the city began talking with the fun zone’s management about dismantling the structure.

The leaning tower also forced the closure of Wonder Wheel Park on W. 12th Street on July 3. However, Wonder Wheel’s owner Dennis Vourderis said he did not think the Astro Tower’s swaying had been especially severe.

“It didn’t seem any worse than usual, and I’ve only been here 43 years,” the amusement owner said at the time. Vourderis’ father bought the park’s eponymous ferris wheel in 1983, after owning a nearby concession stand for more than a decade.

Both Luna Park and Wonder Wheel Park re-opened on Independence Day, but Luna had to tear the tower down.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.

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Reader Feedback

Jim from Avenue X says:
it's deja vu al over again! Nice work BP reporting a storu from July 4 on July 10!
July 10, 2013, 9 am
ty from pps says:
Why is anyone "sad" about the removal of a rotting, non-functional pole? It should have been removed years (decades) ago.
July 10, 2013, 10:39 am
GoombaTed from B'Ridge says:
Good riddance! Now, if we could remove the rest of the eyesore that is Coney Island, particularly all the fat people on the beach.
July 10, 2013, 11:04 am
GoombaTed from B'Ridge says:
Good riddance! Now, if we could remove the rest of the eyesore that is Coney Island, particularly all the fat people on the beach.
July 10, 2013, 11:04 am
Johnny Hammersticks from Brooklyn says:
Everyone is sad to see it go, but no one did anything to preserve and restore it. You have the parachute jump, which looks incredible now, and the wonder wheel. How many tall, old things do you need out there? If its that big a deal, build a new one that works, and isn't a potential hazard to the public.
July 10, 2013, 12:52 pm
diehipster from Righthooking Reids says:
Only an out of state yup who never sets foot in Coney would be happy about this. I'm sad for two reasons -

1. It was iconic and rode it as a kid and saw amazing views of what is now "still normal Brooklyn"
2. It was a great look out tower for scoping out hipsters from above that were trespassing and exploring Coney. I had a shift once a week doing that to protect our beloved neighborhood.
July 10, 2013, 2:05 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Aha! NOW I understand why you're such a nancy, diehipster! You're actually the bearded lady escaped from the freak show. At last, all the pieces have fallen into place, the jealousy of beards on hipster men (they ought to belong on ladies), the suspicion of skinny jeans (the bearded lady is rubenesque), the hatred of creative cuisine (diehipster lives of Nathan's). This, folks, is the standard the "natives" would hold everyone to...
July 10, 2013, 4:17 pm
ty from pps says:
Where were all of the "normal Brooklyn" folks restoring the dumb rotting white pole?
July 10, 2013, 5:05 pm
elvis from nawcostella says:
dh-it's...a nasty old pole. why don't you buy it and sit on it
July 10, 2013, 5:11 pm
curious from south brooklyn says:
Diehipster hates transplants so much that he has to hijack each and every one of these threads to tell us about it, because you know, "real" Brooklyn has never been about people moving here from around the world to start anew. No sir, if there's one description of Brooklyn that really fits over the years, it's that it never changes at all. Mmm hmm.

The real situation here is that Diehipster is getting old and his world is changing in a way that he doesn't like. But that would happen wherever he lived so he should just stfu and deal with it like an adult.
July 10, 2013, 7:33 pm
diehipster from real Brooklyn says:
Its amazing how I make so many nasally yups come out with a simple true Brooklynite opinion. I will keep this short: I am real.

The transplanted yups on this board: fake and inexperienced and absofrigginlutely RACIST.
July 10, 2013, 11:09 pm
ty from pps says:
Racist because they don't have a deep love for a rusting, nonoperational metal pole?
July 11, 2013, 10:29 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
diehipster spends every moment of every day whining and nasally braying, "Look at ME! Look at ME! LOOK AT ME!" No job, no future, despondent that nobody comes to the Coney Island Freak Show to see her/his Bearded Lady act any more, s/he lashes out at how "fake" every other non-Bearded Lady resident of Brooklyn is. And s/he whines at "nasally" Brooklynites (translation: REAL men and women who go to work at REAL jobs every day), disparaging them and their neighborhoods and their two-parent, wholesome American families because s/he cannot even approach the real-ness of their lives and the promise they represent for Brooklyn, New York, and the country.

Miserable dirtbag, unrepentant Nancy, diehipster, get thee gone from these shores. You are a hater of families, children, Americans, American values, Brooklyn, New York, and human life. You have nothing positive or constructive to say about anything or anyone. You are anti- everything meaningful and good in this life; and those of us who want to live our lives to the benefit of our fellow citizens, to raise our children to be respectful, responsible, and productive members of our society, reject you, abjure you, and command you to be gone.
July 11, 2013, 11:27 am

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