City Council unanimously adopted a resolution introduced by Councilman Mark Treyger and Councilman Chaim Deutsch — as well as 48 other members of the Council and Public Advocate Letitia James — calling on the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to designate the Coney Island Riegelmann Boardwalk a scenic landmark.
The resolution, originally introduced to the City Council on February 5, has also garnered the backing of Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, Senator Diane J. Savino, and Assemblymember Pamela Harris, as well as community leaders from the Coney Island area. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has also voiced support for the resolution.
With the City Council and many significant elected officials at the city and state level behind the resolution, further pressure is placed on the Landmarks Preservation Commission to act in favor of an application for the designation originally filed by Treyger and Coney Island historian Charles Denson in December 2014.
“The iconic Coney Island Riegelmann Boardwalk is not just a symbol of Coney Island and Southern Brooklyn, but one synonymous with New York City,” said Council Member Mark Treyger. “Millions have walked the Boardwalk’s wooden planks for nearly a century, forging the legend of one of our city’s best-known cultural touchstones. I believe we must preserve this legend, this symbol so that our children, their children, and millions of others who visit our great city in the years ahead will be able to walk those same wooden planks and create their own memories, as well.”
A scenic landmark designation would officially recognize the Boardwalk as one of southern Brooklyn’s historic locations, while providing a layer of protection and an opportunity for residents to weigh in on the future of the Boardwalk. Currently, the City needs no approval to make changes to the Boardwalk, and sections of the Boardwalk have already been replaced with concrete, drastically altering its character.
Treyger led members of the community in utilizing the hashtag #LandmarkTheBoardwalk on social media and invited supporters of the resolution to testify at a May 4 City Council Land Use Committee hearing. Several dozen people showed up to testify in several different languages. The resolution passed a vote in the Land Use Committee last week.
Since it opened in 1923, the Boardwalk has become one of New York’s most iconic destinations. It is recognized as a well-known tourist attraction and the centerpiece of a peninsula which includes the Coney Island amusement district, and the culturally diverse commercial and residential areas of Coney Island and Brighton Beach.
“The unanimous support that this resolution received from all of my colleagues in the City Council is a testament to the significance of the Boardwalk for all of New York City,” said Deutsch. “The Riegelmann Boardwalk has been one of the most recognizable features in all of Brooklyn and New York City since it’s opening in 1923.”
A spokesperson for the LPC said the Coney Island boardwalk is under review by the agency.