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Randy Treadway

Town & Country Motor Lodge

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Hi,

Freedomland, located on 200 acres in the Bronx, was going to be the east coast answer to Disneyland. It opened in June of 1960 and closed at the end of summer in 1964. Mismanagement and too much competition(Palisades Amusement Park, Rye Beach Playland and of course the NY Worlds Fair) caused its demise. Everything you want to know about Freedomland can be found at the following web site:

<a href="http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/robfriedman/" target="_blank">http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/robfriedman/</a>

Bill

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I once had a meeting with one of the men behind Freedomland. He was working on theme parks for Warner Bros. and after a meeting on that I mentioned I had been to Freedomland and was sorry that it had failed. He said they made three very fundamental mistakes:

1) They didn't take the NY weather fully into account. Much of their experience had been gained at Disneyland, which enjoys moderate weather throughout winter, but Freedomland was very much a seasonal operation. That meant there were severe cash flow issues during the closed season.

2) The NY unions were far, far worse than anticipated, both for demanding kickbacks and for not doing anything that was not 100% clear in the contract. At Disneyland you could expect a cast member to pick up a piece of trash as they passed it in the street. Not at Freedomland - the janitorial union would scream if someone not in the union were to do such a thing.

3) They thought the NYWF would draw additional people into the NYC area, who would spend a few days at the Fair then decide to check out Freedomland. Well, that may have worked, but what really nailed them was NYC folks who said "I'll wait for 1966 for Freedomland, but for now we're seeing the Fair before it's gone". Local attendance was far, far below their projections. They had hopes of toughing it out until the Fair ended, but investors looked at the impact of #1 and #2 above and decided they couldn't win.

Alas, poor Freedomland, we knew you well. It was a fun spot. The Civil War ride was my favorite. We have home movies of us at Freedomland I hope to get on video someday.

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Freedomland was a wonderful place. I still get a twinge when I pass by Co-Op City in the Bronx on the roads leading to New England. Before the fair opened in '64, it was the most magical place I had ever seen and I rememeber thinking, even when the fair itself was on, that the fun and amusements at Freedomland were certainly better than most of those (at least in the Lake Amusement area) ever were. The Chicago Fire (every hour on the hour), the San Francisco Earthquake, the midwest Tornado, the Little Old New York, the Civil War battlefield ride, and Satellite City at the end of the park were marvelous. I guess it was never destined to last, but it was wonderful while it was there.

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Thanks for informing me - I guess I missed Freedomland; I remember the Bronx Zoo at age 4 in 1964, and the Fair in (I think) '65, and even Palisades Park, but not Freedomland. I guess we Jersey folks didn't venture across the river all that often!

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Seaway Idlewild was replaced by Carlton House Inn - 138-10 135th Ave.

"...Gateway to World's Fair ...

Line Drive from ... Met Stadium ...

Hoot 'n Holler from ... Aqueduct..."

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Originally posted by PERISPHERE:

Freedomland was a wonderful place. I still get a twinge when I pass by Co-Op City in the Bronx on the roads leading to New England.

David it is so funny because recently I came across a reel of home movies my dad took of us at Freedomland. I dont remember being there but my mother said she thinks they took me twice. The funniest part is she was able to remember a jingle from the tv and radio about take my hand cause I wanna go to Freedomland. The home movies look like it was a cool place.

[This message has been edited by Chmnofbrd (edited 10-24-2003).]

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quote:


Originally posted by AMFMonorail:

Is this another WF lodging? The Seaway Idlewild Hotel? Must be near old Idlewild Airport, but not near Flushing Meadows.


quote:


Originally posted by kpsz1:

Seaway Idlewild was replaced by Carlton House Inn - 138-10 135th Ave.

"...Gateway to World's Fair ...

Line Drive from ... Met Stadium ...

Hoot 'n Holler from ... Aqueduct..."


73115-B.jpg

73115-B-back.jpg

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Originally posted by billcotter:

Mommy and daddy take my hand

take me out to Freedomland!!![/quote

Thats it LOL

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