Starlight Park: the Bronx’s answer to Coney Island

A century ago, Coney Island wasn’t the only game in town for thrilling rides and carnival magic.

Starlightpark1920

Queens had Rockaways Playland, which bit the dust in 1985. Canarsie had Golden City, which closed in 1939.

StarlightparkdiveAnd the central Bronx had Starlight Park (above, in 1920), a wonderfully named destination on the Bronx River.

Opened in 1918, Starlight Park had everything Coney had bathing pavillions, a shooting gallery, a 15,000-seat stadium for the circus and other events, even a roller coaster.

“It had a big swimming pool with a sort of observation veranda alongside, a sandy ‘beach’ and lockers by the day or season,” stated a letter-writer responding to a New York Times article on the park from 1995. “It had a picnic grove.”

The park even sponsored a little culture for the masses, in the form of opera and big band shows.

Starlightparkcascade1921The stadium was home to the New York Giants soccer team, and a popular venue for amateur boxing and auto races.

Starlight Park only dazzled the Bronx for 14 years.

Closed in 1932, a fire burned down the bathing pavillions in the 1940s, after which the land became a parking lot and then a dumping ground.

Recently cleaned up, it just reopened as a traditional city parkā€”part of the revitalized Bronx River Greenway.

[Photos: George Bain Collection, Library of Congress]

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses to “Starlight Park: the Bronx’s answer to Coney Island”

  1. Edward Says:

    Gotta love how NYC treated its waterways back in the day. Who needs a lovely amusement park when you can lay down some tar and make a parking lot of it, then a dump! Seriously makes you wonder what they were thinking in the 1930s-70s.

  2. 12 Beloved New York City Places That Don't Exist Anymore | We Report Says:

    […] 1900s, the Bronx had its very own version of Coney Island called Starlight Park. The amusement park featured a roller coaster, large swimming pool and hosted free concerts before shutting down in 1932. One […]

  3. 12 Beloved New York City Places That Don't Exist Anymore | DailyScene.comDailyScene.com Says:

    […] 1900s, the Bronx had its very own version of Coney Island called Starlight Park. The amusement park featured a roller coaster, large swimming pool and hosted free concerts before shutting down in 1932. One […]

  4. 12 Beloved New York City Places That Don't Exist Anymore | Omaha Sun Times Says:

    […] 1900s, the Bronx had its very own version of Coney Island called Starlight Park. The amusement park featured a roller coaster, large swimming pool and hosted free concerts before shutting down in 1932. One […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,610 other followers

%d bloggers like this: