The post we had yesterday about the threat to Astroland's iconic rocket is getting a little bit of attention today. The Post notices the story with Justin Rocket Silverman (seriously) following up by writing:
Wanted: A loving home for this 70-foot-long piece of Coney Island history. Current owner will assist with moving expenses, estimated at $15,000. This is the plea from the now-shuttered Astroland, which must vacate the boardwalk by the end of January to make way for Thor Equities' controversial plan for a $1.5 billion entertainment meccaThe Coney Island History Project, which wants to keep it in Coney has no place to put it. Requests have also gone to the Smithsonian, National Park Service and the Brooklyn Museum.
Tricia Vita of the Coney Island History Projec emails to say:
Coney Island History Project and Astroland staffers have been working for the past month to find a museum or other public venue willing and able to take the rocket. Preferably in Coney Island, or at least Brooklyn, or if that doesnt work out NYC or perhaps NY State?! Since we like the idea of it being used for educational programs, some children's museums are on our list. Also aviation museums and science centers. Several museums wanted it but had to decline due to lack of space or logistical issues. Several are still considering the offer. But we are still looking, time is running out, and the rocket needs all the publicity it can get.Here's a bit of rocket history circa 1963 when a lot of the people reading this weren't even born:
The Astroland Rocket was also known as the “Star Flyer” (as it was called by its inventors), the “Cape Canaveral Satellite Jet” (Time Magazine), “The Spaceship Auditorium” (Billboard) and the ”Cannonball Adderly Rocket" in anticipation of Adderly dedicating the rocket for the park’s official opening on July 1,1962. The rocket was rechristened the "Astroland Moon Rocket" in 1963. A Time Magazine article from July 1963 describes Coney Island’s new park as “a $3,000,000 fun-and-games nexus devoted to space exploration. It has the Cape Canaveral Satellite Jet—passengers enter the rocket, fasten seat belts, then blast off with engines roaring as filmed special-effects from actual space shots conjure up a journey to the moon. The Colonel Glenn Sky Ride has 16 plastic bubbles orbiting 80 feet above the boardwalk. For downward exploration the Neptune Diving Bell encloses 30 people, drops them 35 feet down to an ‘ocean floor’ where live porpoises play.”All compellingly innocent and simple in a 60s kind of way.
· Space Race to Save Coney Rocket [NYP]
· Looking for a Rocket? Step Right This Way to Astroland [Metro]