Lonely Planet Writer

NY's Coney Island Boardwalk now a designated landmark

Anyone who’s visited New York will no doubt be familiar with its iconic Coney Island (Riegelmann) Boardwalk. Offering fantastic views out to sea, this buzzing Brooklyn landmark is one of the world’s most-loved waterfront promenades. Now, 95 years after opening, the Boardwalk has officially been named a designated landmark. This status, says Zodet Negrón of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, “will protect the boardwalk’s presence along the beachfront, and preserve this iconic site for future generations.”

Riegelmann Boardwalk, Coney Island
A general view of the Riegelmann Boardwalk at Coney Island, New York City. Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images)

Designed by engineer Philip P. Farley and named after Brooklyn Borough President Edward J. Riegelmann, the Boardwalk officially opened on 15 May 1923. Its construction (which Riegelmann was involved in) was part of a larger plan to rejuvenate Coney Island, and offer a place for people of all economic and social backgrounds to come together and enjoy pretty Brighton Beach. To this day, the promenade is a popular summer destination, for New Yorkers and international visitors alike.

Enjoying the sun on Coney Island Boardwalk
People walk on the boardwalk at Coney Island. Photo by: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The status is seen as a huge badge of honour for the area. “We are so proud to designate the Coney Island Boardwalk a Scenic Landmark,” added the Commission’s Chair, Meenakshi Srinivasan, in a statement. “The Coney Island Boardwalk is as much a part of the culture as it is a part of the history of New York City. It is a beloved public space that embodies Coney Island’s democratic spirit and reflects our City’s values of tolerance, inclusivity and equity.”

Man walking in the sun at Coney Island Boardwalk
Enjoying the sun on the boardwalk at Coney Island. Photo by: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver also commented on the celebrations, noting how beloved the promenade is by locals. “By officially being designated a scenic landmark, the Landmark Preservation Commission is affirming what New Yorkers, and especially Brooklynites, have known for nearly 100 years; Coney Island’s Boardwalk is a timeless treasure. With its rich history, I am confident that with this designation, it will stand and serve this City and its visitors for hundreds of years to come.”