Coney Island's 275-foot-tall Astrotower was successfully partially dismantled in a frantic move made just ahead of the busy July 4th holiday this week. Crews worked on securing the tower Wednesday night, toiling through the night and into the 4th, with Luna Park finally reopening yesterday around 3 p.m.
Business owners in the area were upset about the timing—the decision was made after a a group of kids saw it swaying and the FDNY was called in. While the unofficial mayor of Coney Island, Dick Zigun, noted that the retired attraction had swayed in the past, it had been swaying a lot more noticeably as of late—check out this video:
NY1 reports that DOB Commissioner Robert LiMandri said the removal of the tower is ongoing, "We determined that the best way to mitigate the risk was to reduce the load, and to do that we actually piece by piece reduced the load by utilizing welders to cut back 53 feet of the tower to 44,000 pounds of weight. And over the next several nights after the park is closed we will continue to work."
The Astrotower was installed in 1964, when it received the nickname "the big bagel in the sky," but hasn't been functional since it closed in 2007.