Save This Coney Island Baby

Coney Island Parachute Jump

The Coney Island Parachute Jump is in danger.

Leni Schwendinger

Since 2006, the Coney Island Parachute Jump has won numerous design awards for its simple yet bold washes of color. Designed by Leni Schwendinger, principal of Light Projects, with support from the NYC Economic Development Corporation, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Borough President’s office, and engineering firm STV, this newest addition to the theme park is now in danger of Vegasification.

The NY Post reported that the city has sent out a call for proposals to dramatize the illumination (See “City to Do the Light Thing for Coney Landmark,” by Rich Calder, 02.08.08). The Post went on to quote Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz who believes the parachute jump is too “artsy” and needs “blinging up.”

Part of the RFP involves restoring the base of the structure, which has been in disrepair since it stopped giving rides in 1968. Markowitz wants to revive the ride as well, stating, “Hey, if the Giants can beat the Patriots, there’s no reason we can’t ride the Parachute Jump in this new century.” As the site around the jump is currently barren and unapproachable, repairing the structure and ride would much improve the area, in my opinion. I would love to see the view from the top looking out over Astroland and the ocean. But it is a shame when an internationally recognized design is underappreciated because it is not glitzy enough.