Lucy Moses Award: Child’s Restaurant, Coney Island

The last project we want to mention with regard to this year’s Lucy Moses Awards is Child’s Restaurant. It’s a New York City Landmark on the historic and just-landmarked Coney Island Boardwalk. It was designed in 1923 by Dennison & Hiron, in the Spanish Colonial Revival style with sea-creatures in the terra cotta details. Originally opened as part of the popular Child’s Restaurant chain, the restaurant was closed in 1952. It was later used as a candy factory until the 1980s and then abandoned.

As part of the public-private venture to revamp Coney Island, the building was converted to a combined theater and restaurant. Old Structures designed repairs to the remaining historic masonry: the facade is brick, covered with sand-colored stucco and maritime-themed terra cotta ornament. Our work focussed on analysis and repairs to the original masonry, and was coordinated with the replication, repair, and resetting of ornamental terra cotta.

In 2016 part of the revitalized building was reopened as the Ford Amphitheater and a rooftop restaurant. In 2017, the remaining indoor space was opened to the public, as Kitchen 21, a five-in-one restaurant venue.

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