Fred Trump And The Destruction Of Steeplechase Park

Fred Trump And The Destruction Of Steeplechase Park

"You won't find the original amusement park rides and other attractions on Coney Island today."
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Years before Donald Trump was a constant face in the business and now political world, his father, Fred Trump decided he wanted to build apartment buildings on Coney Island. The the same Coney Island known for its amusement parks. Unfortunately, you won't find the original amusement park rides and other attractions on Coney Island today, and that's partially thanks to Fred Trump.

George C. Tilyou grew up in a family that ran and owned a restaurant on Coney Island. The responsibility of which was transferred to him when he was an adult. When thinking of how to improve his business, it must have been fate that Tilyou attended the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, and happened to see the first Ferris wheel (built by George Washington Gale Jr. to match the Eiffel Tower unveiled at the 1889 Paris World's Fair.) Upon seeing maybe one of the greatest feats of the late 1800's, Tilyou decided to build his own Ferris wheel. The wheel became extremely popular and lead to the construction of Steeplechase Park, the first (and last) of the three major Coney Island amusement parks.

While Steeplechase Park entertained people for years, all good things come to an end. In 1964, Tilyou's daughter, Marie Tilyou closed the amusement park in response to decreased profits and the destruction of the neighborhood. Not long after closing, Marie sold the park to Fred Trump.

Trump saw the area as not a place to entertain young and old alike, but as a place to create giant seaside towers of apartments. There was a problem though, the area wasn't zoned for residences. Naturally, Trump didn't take this and fought (and tried to cheat) his way into getting what he wanting. When he noticed this wasn't working, he decided to have a "amusement park funeral." Trump saw the problem in his way as the neighborhood's attachment to the amusement park. Like any rational person, he decided to destroy what people loved to get their support.

The "amusement park funeral" featured girls in bikinis and the chance to destroy the amusement park with stones and bricks. Once Trump was done trashing the 69 year old piece of history, he bulldozed it (except for certain rides and concessions). It was destroyed just in time, otherwise it would have gotten that ever-dreadful landmark status. Once again he resumed his attempts to get the area rezoned.

Ultimately, the local government decided not to let Fred Trump build his hotels and he decided to lease the land to ride operators. This was the start of one of those ride operators, Norman Kaufman's attempt to restore the park to its original glory. He worked at it until the 1980's but was never able to compare to the original Steeplechase Park. Kaufman was eventually evicted from the land by the city (Trump sold the property in 1969) and most of his additions were removed.

In the following years, a variety of things occupied the land (or were proposed to occupy the land). Today, the MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones sits where Steeplechase Park once was. The only thing left that would tell anyone there was once an amusement park there is the defunct Parachute Jump, known to some as the "Eiffel Tower of Brooklyn."

Cover Image Credit: Dick Mooran - Flickr

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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