December 13, 2008 at 2:39 am Leave a comment

Wanted: A loving home for this 70-foot-long piece of Coney Island history. Current owner will assist with moving expenses, estimated at $15,000.

* This is the plea from the now-shuttered Astroland, which must vacate the boardwalk by the end of January to make way for Thor Equities’ controversial plan for a $1.5 billion entertainment mecca.

The Astroland Rocket is more than a decoration, and was actually one of the first virtual-reality rides. When it opened in 1962, the rocket could seat 26 people, who watched a space film as vibrating hydraulics under the aluminum frame “launched” it to the moon.

“It’s getting down to the wire,” said Tricia Vita of the Coney Island History Project. “If the rocket is left there, it will become property of Thor and either vandalized, demolished or sold for scrap. We can’t let that happen.”

Despite an extensive search that has included requests to the Smithsonian, the National Park Service and the Brooklyn Museum, the rocket remains homeless.

While Floyd Bennett Field could accommodate it, the rocket is more “in the spirit of recreation rather than actual aviation,” said Patti Reilly, acting superintendent at historic site.

The Brooklyn Museum, on the other hand, doesn’t have room.

New York Post


Entry filed under: Manhattan.

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