Brooklyn History Photo of the Week: Bird’s Eye View of Coney Island

Bird’s Eye View of Coney Island, ca. 1892, v1972.1.777; Photography Collection; Brooklyn Historical Society.

This aerial view of Coney Island includes several of the attractions that led the area to become a favorite weekend destination for New Yorkers and others. In the center of this photograph is Surf Avenue, as well as the Elephant Hotel, which opened in 1892. The hotel had staircases and shops in the elephant’s legs and rooms inside the structure’s body.

To the right of the elephant is the Sea Beach Palace, another example of Coney Island’s early hotels. It was also the terminal of the New York and Sea Beach Railroad, one of several steam railroads that served the area at the time. Most of the New York and Sea Beach Railroad’s route became part of the BMT Sea Beach Line, or N train.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. To search our entire collection of images visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Fri, 1:00-5:00 p.m.

About Emily Reynolds

I'm the Photographic Collection Assistant at BHS.
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3 Responses to Brooklyn History Photo of the Week: Bird’s Eye View of Coney Island

  1. bean extract says:

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you, However I am encountering difficulties with your RSS.
    I don’t know the reason why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anybody else getting the same RSS issues? Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

  2. Julie says:

    Thanks for the info Joseph, we’ll update our records accordingly.

  3. Joseph Ditta says:

    That’s great, but Elephantine Colossus (a.k.a. the Elephant Hotel), was built in 1884, and probably opened in 1885. This image actually dates to BEFORE 1892. By that year, Lorenzo Shaw’s Channel Chute ride was built around the Elephant. Both Elephant and ride burned on September 27, 1896.

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