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Bill Cotter

For the Freedomland fans

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This was where Co-op City is? I wonder if there's an aerial photo of Freedomland? It would be neat to compare then and now aerials!

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I still remember the jingle.Mommy and Daddy take my hand.Take my hand to Freedomland.

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No, Randy, they were closed in the winter. C.V. Wood, the guy behind it, told me they were hoping to be open on weekends but the weather was worse than they thought. Like that was a surprise to anyone from the area!

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C.V. Wood… is that the same Charlie Wood that bought Storytown in Lake George and built it into The Great Escape? He also owned Gaslight Village in Lake George. Gaslight Village was leveled and gone before this summer season. How long since you spoke with him, Bill?

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I remember Satellite City from when I was a kid. My grandparents were early residents of Co-op city, in fact all the buildings were not complete when they moved in. I remember walking around the area with cousins of mine when visiting them. A few parts of Freedomland when still there. I vaguely remember the crooked house still standing off in the distance. Alas no pictures.

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Man, it looks like Freedomland was a pretty well done park. Just the climate, alone, seems like it spelled doom for his investment. I wonder if the city took it by eminent domain? Did it even survive the World's Fair?

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Freedomland closed at the end of the 1964 season. Woody told me they had underestimated the weather, thinking they could at least be open for weekends for part of the down season. It turned out the weather was too unpredictable, so some weekends they scheduled crews and no one came as it was lousy outside, or even if it was nice people didn't come as there was a big mindset that all outdoor places closed promptly at Labor Day, even if it was still nice. He also said the NY unions were a major factor, both from leaders demanding bribes and from workers that refused to do anything not specifically spelled out. For example, when he worked at Disneyland, everyone was expected to pick up a piece of trash if they walked near it. At Freedomland the guys in the trash union threatened to strike if anyone even touched trash on the ground except one of their members. He also said they union crafts people worked at a snails pace compared to other parks he had worked on, thereby jacking up costs considerably.

Some of the buildings were still in place in the early 70s. I used to see them as I drove by on my way to college upstate, sticking forlornly out of the woods. Man, do I wish I had detoured to look around!

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Pardon the question, but what exactly was Freedomland?

Freedomland was aa amusement park in the Bronx where Co-op city now stands.It was a kind of mini representation of the United States.It was based on history .I remember a re-enactment of the Chicago fire and the San Francisco earthquake.Unfortunately the park was seasonal and could not open during the cold weather months.That and the fact that it was competing with the fair in the 60`s lead to it`s downfall.Like other amusement parks at the time like Palisades,Rockaway Park and Steeplechase in Coney Island the park fell on hard times and was forced to close.

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That's a shame. Far too many amusements parks have had to close over the years. I

Interestingly, the '84 Fair in New Orleans also did in an old Amusement Park, Pontchartrain Beach Amusement Park, which closed in 1983, unable to compete with all the hype of the upcoming Fair.

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I made it to Freedomland several times as a pre-teen, but never felt "immersed" in the various themed areas as Disneyland (by comparison) manages to do so well. I wonder if that feeling would have changed had it survived and matured, or if it was something in the basic concept that was fatally flawed in that respect.

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An error was made above....C.V. Wood, who built Disneyland, Magic Mountain (Golden CO), Pleasure Island (Wakefield MA), Freedomland (Bronx, NY) and Six Flags Over Texas (Arlington) was not the same man as Charles Wood of Storytown and Gaslight Village. No relation.

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