Steeplechase Park was the heart of Coney, watching the island through good and bad times from the late 1800’s to 1960. These pages will look at some postcards of the park, most from its heyday. Above is the entrance to the park from Surf Avenue.
Steeplechase faces Surf Avenue on a quiet morning. From left to right we see the gate (note the horses on top), the ferris wheel through the gate, the Giant See-Saw and a swinging ship.
Steeplechase, like the rest of Coney, was a different world at night. Here we see the circle swings on the left, the Pavilion of Fun in the middle and the parachute drop behind it. The Pavilion of Fun was built in 1907 after the park burned to the ground. George Tilyou put many of the rides (the Human Roulette Wheel, the Hoop-La, etc.) indoors, making Steeplechase impervious to the weather. The very top of the pavilion reads, “George C. Tilyou’s Steeplechase Park.” The middle of the pavilion reads “Pavilion of Fun. Geo. C. Tilyou’s Steeplechase Park.” The large face on the building was the park’s mascot and could be found all over the park.
The entrance to Steeplechase from the Bowery. Here the Funny Staircase (a set of stairs where either side went in alternating directions) guides visitors into the park. Look at the crowds of people who are in the Bowery and entering the exciting world of Steeplechase.