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 Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Social Control

According to Merriam Webster, social control is "the rules and standards of society that circumscribe individual action through the inculcation of conventional sanctions and the imposition of formalized mechanisms." Social norms, rules, laws, and structures within a society are just a few of the methods that keep our society "in-line".

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Informal vs Formal

There are two types of social control. There is informal social control which is enforced by family, peers, teachers, etc. and is often referred to as "socialization". Informal social control refers to values, norms, and belief systems of a society. Then there is formal social control which is enforced by the government through police and military. Formal social control refers to laws of society and topics such as terrorism.

For more information regarding informal and formal social control, check out: Definition of Social Control


Positive Social Control

Positive social control is related to the idea of getting rewarded for good work, rather than be hurt for doing something wrong.

For example, you will be given a raise at work if you prove you deserve it, but you will not be tortured if you don't take that extra step. Socialization is the primary way that social order is kept, and is a perfect example of positive social control. There is also a physical organization to society that keeps everything in harmony. Traffic signals, paved roads, and crosswalks are just a few examples of how physical additions to our everyday lives work together to avoid conflict.

There are many benefits that come along with positive social control as well. Raises, bonuses, and praise are all rewards that come along with following rules and norms.


Negative Social Control

Negative social control is related to the idea of discrimination and/or shame. It uses harsh punishment, torture, pressure, and/or threats to keep the peace and order rather than rewarding good behavior.

For example, Hitler used violence and discrimination to keep the Jews "under control" during the Holocaust.

For more information regarding positive and negative social control, check out: Types of Social Control Formal & Informal, Positive & Negative


Examples of Social Control

Religious Social Control

People who follow a religion tend to develop morals and behavior patterns based on what their religion preaches. These people will avoid committing crimes, hate-speech, or anything else their religion deems as "sinful" in order to avoid punishment during or after their death. Many people tend to believe that religion was created with the sole purpose to control people and keep the social order, while dedicated followers beg to differ.


Economic Social Control

Economic social control is attainable by controlling production or controlling an entire society through their economics (cutting off food supplies, stealing from the poor, etc.) Richer people and industrialists tend to control the lower class and their consumers through status and money.

Wealth = Power


Political Social Control

Political social control is the most influential type of social control. The government regulates money, sources and supplies, the laws, police forces, and many more which when put all together becomes social control. The government balances every aspect of what creates harmony and peace within a society, protecting the people from anarchy.

For more information regarding examples of social control, check out:: Social Control: Meaning, Types and Unfavourable Effect

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