This is the fifth in a series of pieces on something that no longer exists in our Bloomingdale neighborhood. The author, Pam Tice, is a member of the Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Group’s Planning Committee.
For a short period, perhaps less than five years, West 110th Street became an entertainment district known as “Little Coney Island.” The story of its development and demise is a New York story with real estate, politics, the Police Department, vice and corruption, changing social values, and class conflict.
The Upper West Side rapidly developed in the last two decades of the 19th century and the first two of the 20th century. Very quickly, sparsely placed wood-frame houses were replaced by brownstones and tenements, and, over time, larger and larger apartment buildings. Development initially followed the new El train, spreading out from the station stops as land was sold and developed.