|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!
CYCLONE ROLLERCOASTER FACT SHEET
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
NUMBER OF 180 DEGREE TURNS: 6
NUMBER OF DROPS: 12
CHANGES OF DIRECTION: 16
NUMBER OF TRACK CROSSOVERS: 18
NUMBER OF ELEVATION CHANGES: 27
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.