Today’s news:

Coney Island History Project Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park will take over Astroland Rocket from the city, restore it as a ride

Sources: Park owners will restore iconic 51-year-old ride

ROTTING ROCKET: The Astroland Rocket has been stored here, outside old Navy buildings, on Staten Island since 2009.
Brooklyn Daily

The rocket is ready for lift-off!

The Coney Island History Project has confirmed that it has answered the city’s call for a project proposal for the iconic Astroland Rocket, and it plans to bring the derelict ride to a location inside Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park for restoration.

The Project said that Wonder Wheel Park’s owners, the Vourderises, will fully restore the one-of-a-kind attraction — and keep the Astroland Park lettering on its side as a memorial to the bygone space-themed park. Wonder Wheel Park hopes the rehabbed rocket will be the centerpiece of its annual History Day next summer.

The rocket ride — originally called the Star Flyer — made its debut at the 1962 opening of the now-shuttered funzone. Seventy-one feet long and made of airplane-grade aluminium, the ship contains 26 seats and a screen that originally simulated a spacecraft launch. In later years, the defunct ride sat atop the roof of Boardwalk raw bar Gregory and Paul’s — now called Paul’s Daughter — between W. 10th and W. 12th streets, as an advertisement beckoning Coney-goers toward Astroland.

Astroland closed in 2008, and the next year park owners Carol and Jerry Albert donated the rocket to the city on behalf of the Coney Island History Project. The city has vowed numerous times over the years to restore the iconic piece of the People’s Playground’s past to the amusement district.

Authorities have stored the rocket at the Staten Island Homeport in Stapletown since then, and sources reported that the rocket got swamped during Hurricane Sandy and damaged by debris carried in the storm surge.

But repatriating the historic ride from Staten Island would make for a fitting trophy for Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park after the Rock builds the world’s largest ferris wheel to rival the Coney Island original.

The city tore down the only other remnant of Astroland, the long-idled Astrotower ride, in July after its severe swaying incited fears it would fall.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.

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