City Beats excerpts -
Coney Island USA, a nonprofit arts organization, is undergoing a building expansion project to increase space for performances and arts programs that it hopes will help attract visitors year-round.
“A lot of people think that once the summer ends, there’s nothing to do in Coney Island,” said Tim Pendrell, 30, development director of Coney Island USA. “The reason the arts are important is that it’s often among the first groups to act quickest in redeveloping neighborhoods. A cultural scene emerges, and that brings in other developers and interests.”
The dream, if able to raise enough money that will support constructing a tower, is to mold the building as the centerpiece of the Coney Island skyline. That’s the 20-year plan because the organization has not yet agreed on a final design and still needs to hire an interior designer.
But it already has architectural renderings of what the new building might look like. And because Denny’s Ice Cream Shop is not landmarked, unlike the organization’s current home, Coney Island USA is looking to build up.
In one of the renderings, a waved front and colossal word of walls forms a unique shape against a backdrop of adjacent buildings with straight lines. In another rendering, a hulking elephant sits atop the new Coney Island USA, towering over the horizon in a throwback to Bohemianism.