11. Golden City Park (1907-1939)
May 19, 1907 ad from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Golden City Park in Canarsie, Brooklyn, was a successful amusement park in operation from 1907 to 1939. William J. Warner, Jr. viewed the area of Canarsie as a profitable space that was closer to Manhattan and Queens than Coney Island and had accessible trolley routes and an elevated railroad system. Many buildings were constructed in the Grecian architectural style, illuminated by 145,000 lights at night. The park featured a sculpture of the Ben Hur chariot race, a theater with capacity of 2500 people, and Over the Rockies, an elaborate 4,200 foot-long scenic railway. The park was still under construction at the time of its grand opening, yet most of the rides like the Coliseum Roller Coaster and Down the Niagara quickly became some of the park’s main attractions. Admission to the park was a mere 25 cents, and following a fire, the park quickly reopened with new attractions.
Parks Commissioner Robert Moses deemed the “nemesis of all New York’s amusement parks,” condemned Golden City in 1939 to build major roadways. The Belt Parkway later ran through the site, and although the New York City Board of Estimate noted that the park could be reopened further inland, Canarsie’s Civic Association resisted.