Brooklyn Did you know?
How long did it take to build the Brooklyn Bridge?

Answer: It took about 13 years (1870-83) from start of construction until opening, or 18 years
(1865-83), drawing-board to opening.Actual construction took 13 years, starting in January of

When it opened on May 23, 1883, the 5,989 foot span was far longer than any other bridge in
the country -- nearly six times longer, in fact -- and was the first steel-wire suspension bridge
in the world.

Prior to the construction of the bridge, people wishing to commute to Manhattan from Brooklyn
had to take ferry boats, which were not only unable to keep up with the population growth of
Brooklyn, but were also often shut down or delayed by poor weather (sometimes for days, when
ice filled the river).

Linking Manhattan and Brooklyn with a reliable, easy way to get from one side of the river to
the other allowed Brooklyn's population to explode, growing by more than 40% in the decade
following the opening of the bridge (and in fact many of Brooklyn's great neighborhoods, such as
Park Slope, Flatbush, Crown Heights, etc. did not start to develop until the bridge finally opened).
How did Brooklyn get its name?

Answer: Brooklyn is the anglicized form of the dutch word "Breuckelen" and it is named after the
municipality of Breukelen, in Utrecht province, in the Netherlands (you can see it on a map here).

When the Dutch settled western Long Island they established a village near what are the present-day
neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO. They called it "Breukelen" after the town of Breukelen in

Europeans who came to New York (then called "New Amsterdam") did so as agents of the Dutch West Indies
Company, and New Amsterdam became a territory of the Netherlands (also known as Holland).
After the second Anglo-Dutch (England vs. Holland) war in 1667, the Dutch ceded New Amsterdam, which
included Breukelen, to the English (in exchange, the Dutch were allowed to keep their colony in Surinam).
After the English re-took control of New Amsterdam, the residents gradually "converted" various Dutch
place-names into English equivalents -- anglicized them..

So "Breukelen" eventually became "Brooklyn"..-- it sounds roughly the same, it's just spelled differently.

A common misconception is that "Breukelen" means "Broken Land" in Dutch - this is not the case. The
misunderstanding may stem from the Algonquin term for all of Long Island, which in Dutch translated to
gebroken landt -- Broken Land.
In the period since it first opened on June 26, 1927, the Cyclone has emerged as the outdoor amusement
industry's most famous, most influential, and most copied individual ride.
Brothers Jack and Irving Rosenthal commissioned Vernan Keenan to design, and Harry C. Baker to construct, a
monumental wooden-tracked twister, which was forced to be exceptionally tight and steep because of the small
ground space that was available to them. Construction then began on a site historically significant in the world of
roller coasters -- the Cyclone occupies the space, which contained the world's very first roller coaster,
LaMarcus A. Thompson's Switchback Railway, as well as the world's first successful looping roller coaster, Loop
The Loop. With power supplied by the Eisenberg Brothers of Brooklyn, signs from Menheimer and Weiss of New
York City, steel from the National Bridge Company, also of New York City, and lumber from Cross, Austin &
Ireland, located in Long Island City, the Cyclone quickly became Coney Island's number one attraction, a status
it maintains to this day.

When the Rosenthal Brothers left Coney Island to operate their newest property, Palisade Amusement Park,
they turned over the operation of the Cyclone to Chris Feuchts, who lovingly maintained and ran the ride for
decades. Eventually, ownership of Cyclone was acquired by the City of New York, and it was operated by the
City's Parks Department.

On June 18, 1975, Dewey and Jerome Albert, owners of Astroland Park, received authorization to operate the
Cyclone under a leasing agreement with New York City. The Alberts had teams of carpenters and iron workers
completely rehabilitate the ride, which reopened to great fanfare on July 1st of that year. Since that time,
Astroland Park has invested millions of dollars in the upkeep of the Cyclone -- today, it probably runs better
than it did on the day it opened, and has the highest safety standards in the outdoor amusement industry.

The Cyclone has consistently ranked at or near the top of every roller coaster top ten list published. It has
been proclaimed the world's greatest by a broad spectrum of media institutions and roller coaster aficionados.
Time Magazine quoted Charles Lindbergh as saying that a ride on the Cyclone was more thrilling than his historic
first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Emilio Franco, a mute since birth, regained his voice on the Cyclone,
uttering his first words ever -- "I feel sick"! In April 2001, singer Nikki Lauren became the first person ever
to present a live musical performance in the Cyclone's historic loading station.

An official New York City Landmark since July 12, 1988, Cyclone was listed in the New York State Register of
Historic Places on June 31, 1991. National Historic Landmark status followed, on June 26, 1991. On April 14,
1992, Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden issued a citation to Jerome Albert and the late Dewey Albert
for their operation of both Astroland and the Cyclone, saluting them for being the primary energizing force in
the regeneration of the Coney Island Amusement District.

The Cyclone, now faster than ever, is the heart and soul of Coney Island, birthplace of the American
amusement industry, and going strong for over 150 years!


Operation Began: June 26, 1927

Operated by Astroland Park: since July 3, 1975

Designed By: Vernan Keenan

Built by: Harry C. Baker

First Owners/Operators: Jack & Irving Rosenthal

Initial Investment: $175,000

Type of Ride: Compact wood twister

GROUND DIMENSIONS: 75 feet by 500 feet
HEIGHT: 85 feet
LENGTH OF FIRST DROP: 85 feet at a 60 degree angle
TRACK LENGTH: 2,640 feet


SPEED: 60 Miles Per Hour

RIDE TIME: One Minute, Fifty Seconds

TRAINS: 3 Trains, 3 Cars per train

CAPACITY: 24 Passengers per Cycle

UNUSUAL FEATURES: Steel track on almost entirely wood structure; Classic Trains, station, and operational
procedures; distinction of being the most copied roller coaster ever built -- 7 "clones" currently operating
throughout the United States, Europe and Japan.

The Cyclone was designated a New York City Landmark on July 12, 1988, and has been listed in the National
Register of Historic Places since June 26, 1991.