South Beach and Park, South Beach Staten Island

Posted by Anthony Licciardello on Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 at 12:15pm.

In 1906, Happlyland Amusement Park opened in South Beach, on the East Shore of Staten Island. The amusement park was very popular in its day, attracting residents from nearby boroughs as well as Staten Island inhabitants. There were sb_park_2_400concession stands, a carousel, Vaudeville performance, a pool, and more. There were also small hotels which lined the beach for vacationers. During the first third of the 20th century, fires began to destroy what had developed into a summer resort. While Happyland was rebuilt each time, it finally saw its end in the early 1930's, when the rebuilding of the park proved to be financially futile.

With the closing of Happyland, the construction of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Boardwalk began, replacing the decrepit boardwalk before it. This boardwalk was built as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration, giving jobs to citizens during the Great Depression. The two-and-a-half mile boardwalk is parallel to Father Capodanno Boulevard in South Beach. It extends all the way from Fort Wadsworth, by the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, to Miller Field, in the neighborhood of New Dorp.

While the boardwalk is very popular among joggers and bicyclists, there are many other things to do at the park. There are playgrounds for children, a canoe launch site, several baseball fields, a roller hockey rink, handball and basketball courts, a skate park, and a bocce court. There is also a steak and seafood restaurant located on the boardwalk. The South Fin Grill welcomes visitors of the beach as well as large gatherings for events.

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