Coney Island History Project
The Coney Island History Project, founded in 2004, is a not-for-profit organization that aims to preserve and share the history of this legendary neighborhood and to encourage appreciation of the Coney Island of today. Our mission is to create an oral history archive; organize educational exhibits, tours and events; and provide access to historical artifacts and documentary material through exhibitions and a website. Emphasizing community involvement, the History Project teaches young people about local history and develops programs in conjunction with local schools, museums, and other organizations.
Since the Coney Island History Project's inception in 2004 with a portable recording booth on the Boardwalk, followed by the opening of the Coney Island Hall of Fame in 2005 and the inaugural season of our exhibition center in 2007, we have proudly offered "Free Admission for One and All!" at our exhibits and events. Our exhibition center and recording studio is located on West 12th Street at the entrance to Deno's Wonder Wheel Park. The center is open free of charge from 1:00PM-7:00PM on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. In addition, the Coney Island History Project offers weekend walking tours year-round. The tours begin with a visit to the exhibition center and a talk about the objects on display. Tours are based on History Project director Charles Denson's award-winning book Coney Island: Lost and Found, the interviews from CIHP’s Oral History Archive, and other primary sources. Visit our online reservation site to see the walking tour schedule and purchase advance tickets online.
The Coney Island History Project records oral history interviews year round with community residents and visitors who have memories of Coney Island. More than 300 audio interviews recorded in English as well as Chinese, Russian and other languages are available for listening online as part of our Oral History Archive. Our website also includes a searchable database of more than 1,000 items from our collection, and the blog "Ask Mr. Coney Island," where site visitors can ask questions about the area's past, present and future.