Coney Island's decrepit, landmarked "terra cotta palace by the sea"?that is, the 1923-built Childs Restaurant, of course?is headed for a major makeover, and now we know more details. According to Brooklyn Daily, it's getting converted into a performance space, restaurant, rooftop cafe, and public park, which will be complete by 2015 if all goes according to plan. Borough president Marty Markowitz has been plugging a Coney Island music venue for years, and he's finally found a suitable home, and an iconic one at that?full of history, and right by the beach, too.
For this prime waterfront spot on the boardwalk between West 21st and West 22nd streets, the new plans reveal a 5,000-seat semi-circular theater with a removable roof for use in all seasons, which would host up to 15 free concerts and 25 paid ones annually. The area around the venue will be a public green space with a playground, seating, and concessions. The restaurant inside will also have an outdoor section on the roof, like the much-vaunted original. The city will spend $50 million to make it happen, and then iStar Financial will lease it back to operate the whole shebang. And all you preservationists out there, worry not, because the design team plans to keep the playful architectural details, like the nautically themed medallions, columns, archways, and more, while incorporating the new services. We might miss the retro roller rink just a little bit, but what's to come sounds pretty darn cool. Here now, some watercolor imaginings of the future:
· Marty's Childs play! Plans to convert Coney landmark into outdoor music venue revealed [Brooklyn Daily]
· Remembering Childs, a Gem from Coney Island's Golden Age [Eater NY]
· All Childs Restaurant coverage [Curbed]