The Municipal Art Society (MAS) had their intense redesign Coney Island workshop at the end of last week, and as promised they've released their ideas to the public today. The concept and design is portrayed in the renderings above (so many robots and clowns!), and MAS says "The concept, which would include a variety of indoor and outdoor facilities, can be implemented immediately (Summer 2009) and would take advantage of the parcels of undeveloped land in Coney Island, much of which is now vacant or operating as street-level parking."

One entertainment developer involved, David Malmuth, notes that the live entertainment programming and a major new ride are integral to the future of Coney...he's also the former VP of Disney, and he's not the only mouseketeer on the team, former Disney exec Anne Hamburger (who oversaw programming in all of Disney’s theme parks for more than eight years) is also on board. Are so many Disney minds a good thing in this case?

The next step for MAS (who are likely quite happy with this morning's news) is to provide a more detailed programming and funding proposal, which they promise by early 2009. After the jump you'll find more about their proposed Imagine Coney concept.

Establish Coney Island as the ‘Main Stage for New York City’

  • Small and large, indoor and outdoor facilities for events and performances
  • Can be implemented immediately for Summer 2009 and will bridge to future when larger development is complete
  • Complements Coney Island’s role as entertainment and amusement destination, a primary function that will continue
  • Services/augments existing traffic to this district
  • Positions Coney Island as a 12-month destination

Programming / Events

  • Halloween Parade
  • Holiday Festival of Lights
  • Live Video Gaming Arena
  • International Music festival
  • Aerial and Environmental Arts festival
  • Ethnic Festivals
  • International Tattoo-apalooza
  • International Graffiti Contests
  • Street performance

Permanent Entertainment

  • Venue for Small Performing Arts Groups
  • Parades for all seasons
  • Niche Events Such as the Mermaid Parade, Polar Bear Swim and July 4 Hot Dog-Eating Contest
  • Spectacles such as nighttime light show over the water
  • The New Shore Theatre: A key attraction of the new Coney Island offering a short-form, high-tech musical on Coney Island that combines Vaudeville theatre and a circus as a new form of dinner theater.
  • Digital City (a 21st Century Bowery) of interactive robots
  • New cable-car ride that would float through clouds and connect all of the major Coney Island attractions
  • A wave-like retractable roof that would ensure 12-month seasonality for Coney Island
  • An "electric city" that would feature small-scale, local entrepreneurs, amusement operators with 21st century digital skin signage
  • A high-rise hotel and entertainment district north of Surf Avenue that would feature extraordinary new architecture.

Guiding Principles include:

  • Reestablish Coney Island as an amazing entertainment destination for New York and world.
  • Ensure economic vitality 12 months a year
  • Support community growth and vitality
  • Create a sustainable Coney island
  • Start now.


  • Express subway line to Coney Island
  • Ferry landing at Coney Island creek