I can’t believe it’s been more than a year since the last entry in our Postcard series! Not much has found its way to us since then, but, yesterday, this awesome engraving was brought to our attention via eBay.
Titled “The New Iron Pier at West Brighton Beach, Coney Island,” the image was created by Charles Graham and published in Harper’s Weekly in 1879. It shows the New Iron Pier – not to be confused with the Old Iron Pier – erected in 1881 near what today is Surf Avenue and West 5th Street.
New York Times reported in April 1881 of the structure’s designs just a week after the contracts were awarded, writing:
The pier will … be built in the Swiss style of architecture. It will be 1,200 feet long, extending 200 feet further into the ocean than the present pier. The ends of the pier in shore and off shore will be 150 feet square, and the centre 60 feet wide. There will be a tower at each end 50 feet square at the base, and rising to a height of 100 feet above the water-line. Three balconies for sight-seeers will be connected with the towers. The entire pier will be roofed and there will be a ball-room, restaurants and spacious promenades. It will be lighted at night by electric lights, and the Ninth Regimental brass band and Arbuckle have been engaged to furnish music for the season.