Design for the Real World: Parachute Jump


Friday, July 12, 2013

Design historian Steven Heller tells the story of the parachute jump, the seaside landmark known as the "Eiffel Tower of Coney Island." Originally built as an amusement ride for the 1939 New York World’s Fair, the structure mirrored the architectural boom that was happening in Manhattan at the same time. “The great skyscrapers of New York City were rising higher and higher as Coney Island used that technology and brought it out to this here suburb,” Heller says. But this monumental design let visitors to the top float all the way down.

(Originally aired: July 05, 2003)

Comments [2]

Susan Martin from Lake Mary, Florida

When i was little, i spent the entire summer with my Nonny, at Coney Island. There was a hotel on 30 street & Surf Ave., called Colonial Hall.
I was totally fascinated by the Parachute jump. It looks so beautiful now, all lit up.
I now live in Lake Mary, Florida, outside of Orlando. I do so miss Coney Island. Those were some memorable years!!!

Aug. 11 2013 08:31 PM
Fred Yockers from Friday Harbor, Wa

Heard your piece about the Parachute Jump. My father was the "tramp" clown "Freddy the Tramp" at Steeplechase Park, the greatest of all the amusement parks in the heyday of Coney...He would hang out at the boardwalk gate of Steeplechase Park and beckon people in. Frequently, he would be strapped into a leather sling seat and hauled up to the top of the jump for minutes on end, to wave to the crowd and beckon them in from 250' up. Sometimes he and I would go up to the top of the jump and stay there during the "Ballantine Beer" fireworks nights...we would literally be higher than the fireworks...There was NO place like Steeplechase Park--a truly one of a kind place...
Fred Yockers, Jr.

Jul. 15 2013 03:28 AM

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