1904 Surf Ave
What it is now: A minor league baseball stadium
Steeplechase Park was the amusement park that launched Coney Island as New York’s roller-coaster destination, before it was ultimately brought down by a Trump. George C. Tilyou was spurred to open the park after seeing a Ferris wheel in the flesh at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Once he acquired one for himself, along with several more mechanical rides, he invited guests to Steeplechase for the low entrance fee of $.25. The amusement park suffered setbacks due to 1907 and 1939 fires, but it managed to keep the rides running until 1965. Forced into a financial tight spot, the Tilyou family sold to real-estate mogul Fred Trump (father of Donald). There was talk of a possible historic landmark designation, but Trump demolished the park before preservationists could gain any traction. The elder Trump then planned to build apartment buildings on the lot, except he couldn’t get the proper zoning. So NYC Parks snapped up the land. In 2000, construction began on a baseball stadium for Brooklyn’s then-new minor league team, the Cyclones. That project became MCU Park, where the Cyclones still play today.