13. The Never-Built Globe Tower Fraud Scandal

A conceptual sketch of the Coney Island Globe Tower. Image via The Coney Island History Site

The opportunities for investment and business ventures naturally brought a good share of fraud and scandal to Coney Island. One of the most infamous examples was a plan to construct the Coney Island Globe Tower. In 1906, Samuel Friede had plans to build a sphere atop a seven-hundred-foot tower called the Globe Tower. There would be businesses, hotels, theaters, a roller skating rink, and a bowling alley within, and beneath there would be an underground garage, subway, and railroad station. An observation deck would top everything off. Friede conned some investors to fund these ambitious plans, which soon came to a screeching halt. When no further work was done to the tower after its two cornerstone-laying ceremonies, people began to realize it was a fraud.