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Luna Park (site of)

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One of Coney Island's most storied amusement parks

Place Details

Borough : Brooklyn
Neighborhood : Coney Island
Open Space, Play

Place Matters Profile

By Sarah Brockett

Luna Park, one of the world’s first amusement parks, operated at Coney Island from 1903 until 1944. The park played a major role in the development of Coney Island into one of the country’s greatest resorts of the early twentieth century. Its revolutionary rides and roller coasters ushered in a new era of technology in entertainment.

In 1901, Frederick Thompson and Elmer "Skip" Dundy unveiled their fantastical Trip to the Moon cyclorama at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo. The ride, which gave visitors an impression of journeying to the moon, was such a hit that George C. Tilyou secured it for the 1902 season at his Steeplechase Park at Coney Island. The ride proved to be an enormous success. Thompson and Dundy then bought the ailing Sea Lion Park, believed to be the world's first enclosed amusement park, on the north side of Surf Avenue between West...

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History and Photos of Luna Park
NYPL Digital Gallery
Places That Matter: Coney Island

On The Web

Aron, Cindy. Working at Play: A History of Vacations in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Coney Island History Project at

Denson, Charles. Coney Island: Lost and Found. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2002

Immerso, Michael. Coney Island: The People’s Playground. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2002

Snow, Richard. Coney Island: A Postcard Journey to the City of Fire.New York: Brightwater’s Press, 1989

Stanton, Jeffery. Articles and sources at

[Posted, Jan. 2008]


David Provan

Luna Park was the grandfather of all amusement parks, delighting and entertaining generations of visitors from 1904 to 1945. The site is now occupied by a strip of commercial buildings and a housing development

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