Cyclone, Luna Park shut down, may remain closed July 4 • Brooklyn Paper

Cyclone, Luna Park shut down, may remain closed July 4

Tower to fall?: The city said it was in talks with Luna Park to dismantle the 51-year-old Astro Tower.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

There might be no Fourth of July rides on the Cyclone this year!

Luna Park, which operates the iconic, city-owned coaster, was closed July 2 night and will remain closed Independence Day morning — and possibly longer — as crews inspect and seek to stabilize the defunct Astro Tower.

“We will remain on the scene as contingencies develop,” said a Fire Department spokesman, adding the park would not re-open on their watch.

The Department of Buildings has confirmed it is now working on a “partial demolition plan” for the structure.

The 270-foot-high Astro Tower — the last vestige of Astroland, which opened in 1962 and came down in 2009 to make way for Luna Park — caused a panic Tuesday, after an unknown person reported it was swaying in the wind. Luna Park and the Cyclone were evacuated and shut down by the FDNY and Buildings Department so that they could investigate.

A Luna Park spokesman downplayed the danger Tuesday 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 on July 3, the city said it was talking with the amusement park about dismantling the structure.

“Remedies including taking the tower down, or removing portions of the tower, are still being discussed,” said Kathy Magee, a spokeswoman for the Department of Buildings.

The city would not say if such a solution would be necessary or permanent.

Luna Park said it was unsure when it would re-open, or if they would have to pull the Astro Tower down.

“We are currently working with the city to assess and measure the situation,” said Nicole Purmal, a Luna Park spokeswoman..

The leaning tower also forced the closure of Wonder Wheel Park on July 3, however, owner Dennis Vourderis said it was likely the fun zone on W. 12th Street would re-open for July 4. He did not think the Astro Tower had been swaying especially severely.

“It didn’t seem any worse than usual, and I’ve only been here 43 years,” the amusement owner said.

Vourderis’ father bought the park’s eponymous ferris wheel in 1983, after owning a nearby concession stand for more than a decade.

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

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