The History of Coney Island Research Paper by TheWholeDamnShow

The History of Coney Island
A look into the role of the Coney Island area and attractions from its beginnings as a retreat for New Yorkers in the late 1800s to a thriving amusement park that peaked in the mid 1900s.
# 60602 | 5,586 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2003 | US
Published on Aug 31, 2005 in History (U.S. After 1865) , Tourism (General)

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This paper discusses the importance of the Coney Island area historically and as a symbol of New York City. The first section deals with the rich history of Coney Island, beginning as a hotel resort for New Yorkers to visit during vacations. Coney Island landmarks, such as the Coney Island Elephant Hotel and The Iron Tower are discussed with their individual history given. The competition among New York businessmen to develop the area is also investigated, showing how rivals would fight each other viciously over the prime real estate. The paper then talks about the amusement park era and how Coney Island began to transform itself into a nationally recognized location. A section of the paper is also dedicated to the famous Coney Island Freak Show. Finally, the historical section of the paper ends with the lag in business that hit the area after World War II and how Coney Island exists in modernity as a throwback to past generations. The second section of the paper deals with how Coney Island has become a center of cultural pride for New Yorkers.

From the Paper:

"Coney Island represented a shift from the old Victorian mentality that many New Yorkers felt during most of the 1800s and into a new outlook of association that contained all citizens of New York City, not just the rich. The privilege of enjoyment was no longer reserved for those with money, but the low prices and massive amount of commercialism that Coney Island would become famous for would aid in the evolution of the city into becoming the representation of all that is America. In light of this optimism, Coney Island also had a darker side. Despite the cultural diversity and economic success the amusement center produced, the achievements concealed the exploitation of certain groups and the corruption that went along with the construction of such a major center of entertainment."

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