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1949: Luna Park Becomes Low-Income Housing Projects
City Parks Commissioner Robert Moses once dismissed Coney Island by saying, "No one was interested in a mechanical gadget resort like Coney Island." Moses was not known for his tact, or, frankly, concern for Brooklyn neighborhoods. In 1949, he approved plans to raze the site where Luna Park once stood and build low-income housing projects. This came at a difficult time for Coney Island as fires had continued to burn over the years, destroying amusement parks, rides, and the boardwalks. In addition, polio epidemics had discouraged people from congregating in places like the beach, for fear of spreading disease. And while beach attendance would surge again in the 1950s during abnormally hot summers, this was really the beginning of Coney Island's economic decline.