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Coney Island History Project

About this listing

Exhibition center and oral history archive showcasing Coney Island past and present

Place Details

Borough : Brooklyn
Neighborhood : Coney Island
Commercial, Arts and Entertainment, Historic Site & Museum

Place Matters Profile

Founded in 2004, the Coney Island History Project has been collecting, preserving and sharing stories from people who have lived, worked, laughed and cried at Coney Island. As the History Projects co-founder and Executive Director, Charlie Denson, says, "It’s not just about the amusement area, it’s about the neighborhood and the community, and how the people see it, and why they love it, and hate it. You know, it’s always a visceral response to Coney Island. You can’t get people who are neutral."

In 1952, when Denson was eight years old, his family moved from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to the Coney Island Houses, the first high-rise housing complex built in the neighborhood. Denson immediately took a keen interest in his new surroundings, and he vividly recalls his first experience in his new home. “We came in at night, and the projects weren’t really finished. There was a...

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