Coney Island USA
New York City
Coney Island USA is a non-profit organization that creates innovative exhibitions and performances rooted in the unique traditions of Coney Island. CIUSA operates the Coney Island Museum and Circus Sideshow and produces the popular annual Mermaid Parade. The sideshow theater, bar, gift shop, and museum currently share tight quarters in CIUSA’s existing 1920s landmark building, a former Child’s Restaurant, on Surf Avenue.
Our master plan devised a strategy for future expansion of CIUSA’s facilities and programs. Phase One transforms the adjacent ice cream shop into flexible event space with connections to the landmark building. Phase Two includes HVAC work, sprinkler upgrades, and ADA access. Phase Three uses air transfer rights to develop a hybrid tower with a dedicated Circus Sideshow theater; rehearsal space; an artist residency program; workshops; entrepreneur incubators; gift shop; and on the top floors, a bar and restaurant with views of Coney Island and the Atlantic Ocean.
The design of the tower is inspired by iconic structures in the Coney Island Amusement District including the Cyclone and Parachute Jump and the now lost but not forgotten Dreamland and colossal Elephant Hotel.