05-Blogdef-Wonder Wheel

In 1990s New York City, photographer Gregoire Alessandrini documented the streets of the city through his eyes as a young film student and writer. His photos of the Meatpacking District, Times Square, Celebrities, and iconic diners of the 1990s have previously been featured in our Vintage Photo column. In his newest post, he presents photos of Coney Island in the winter of 1995, giving us a glimpse into the deserted skeletal frame of Coney Island  in the winter.

Built in 1920, the Wonder Wheel has been the main attraction of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park since its inception the same year. In 1989, the wheel was designated as a historical landmark.

03-Blogdef2-Coney Island Monsters 1995

As Alessandrini writes,

“Walking in the deserted streets of Coney Island on this 1995 winter day felt like discovering a ghost town…Even if it was impossible to tell which rides were still in service, the Freak Shows, the old time roller coasters and Nathan’s hot dogs were still there as reminders of a glorious past.”




09-Blogdef-Coney Island Atlantis 1995

Distanced pictures of an empty Coney Island icon, the Thunderbolt.

14-Blogdef-Coney Island Telephones and roller coster 1995-1

13-Blogdef-Coney Island roller coster 1


17-Blogdef-Coney Island Freak Museum 1995




Photos of the original Nathan’s Famous hot dog stand. The facade has changed little since first opening in 1916.






01-blogdef-Coney island Subway car 1995

For more photos of Coney Island and the rest of New York City in the 1990s, visit Gregoire Alessandrini’s blog. See even more vintage photos of New York City in our Vintage Photo column. Read about Untapped Cities contributor Alex Wallach’s personal memoir about his family’s roots on Coney Island.

Get in touch with the author @spencercnyc