Crescent Park is….

Some find abandoned amusement parks enchanting.  The thrill of exploring ruins, reliving the glorious memories of years past.

Others find the experience repulsive.  They see no merit in the remnants of what once was.  They only see them as what should still be.

Crescent Park ran from 1886 to 1978.  Today, we are going to look at the ruins of the former park in the 1980s through the camera lens of myself and Paul F. Lynds.  We’ll also peek at some of the park’s attractions during its operating years thanks to Rio Ribeiro and Ray & Beverly Simmons.

This is not an opinion piece.  Not a commentary.  You’re free to feel how you feel.

Com Jr

Above is Rio’s photo of the Comet Junior.  Installed in 1965 by Ed Leis, it was a scaled down version of the coaster of the same name that he built at Crescent Park with Jack Baker in 1928.

Here’s my photo of the Comet Junior in April 1980.

ClosedCometJunior

And here’s Paul F. Lynds’ photo of the remains of the Comet Jr.’s train in 1986.

Comet mess

Here’s Rio’s photo of the Skooters in 1969.

CP Lussie

Here’s my April 1980 photo.

1980 Scooters

The Skyrider was installed in 1965 on the wave of the excitement generated by the 1964/65 World’s Fair. Here’s a Ray and Bev Simmons photo of it, shot when the park was operating.

E69DD7CA-C896-49BF-8E09-F5E397B54DC8

Here’s Paul’s 1986 photo of the Skyrider’s remains.

39CDDA68-085C-4CB3-925D-48313EF2B539

We see a frame grab by Donna Gagne of the Turtle kiddie ride in operation below.

Gagne

Followed by Paul’s 1986 photo of the ride’s remains.

image8

Here’s me in the kiddie Boat Carousel in 1957.

George Boat

And Paul’s shot of it, nearly 30 years later.

image5

When the Westward Ho was introduced to the midway in 1962, it was wildly popular.  Kids of all ages took to the concrete “turnpike” aboard the ever-popular Streco Turnpike Cruisers – Strecos were the rage in parks throughout the nation.  Here’s Crescent’s in operation thanks to Ray and Bev Simmons.

westward

Streco2

Now, take a gander at the remains of the Westward turnpike in Paul’s photos.  This road is definitely closed.

image7
image8

Crescent Park’s Iron Horse railway was a big draw when it debuted in 1963.

Iron1

During the off-season, the park staff created some displays for the ride, and purchased a dragon from the world-famous dark ride designer  Bill Tracy.  The dragon was placed in a cave, built by the park staff using the lumber from the closed Zephyr coaster.  The beast poked its torso in and out of a waterfall.
Group2

In April 1980, no magic could save this dragon as seen in my photo below.
ClosedDragon

And six years later, Paul captured what was left of the dragon’s lair.
image1

Here’s my photo to the entrance to Kiddieland in April 1980.

Turbo 1980

And here’s Paul’s in 1986, showing how housing had annexed the former midway.

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We’ll leave you with a bit of redemption. Things weren’t looking good for the circa 1895 Looff Carousel in April 1980.  It appeared to me as if they threw every bit of debris at it but the kitchen sink.  Oh, wait…

CP_11g_02 (1)

Upon entering the building, I found the animals in deplorable condition.

CP 1980

Without me going into detail, we all know that the carousel story had a happy ending.  Below is  a photo I took last year from the same angle.

Now

We hope you enjoyed this evening’s little presentation.  Perhaps you’re basking in the glow or drying a tear.  At the very least, maybe you learned a little something and are thankful for the camera and those who take the time to use it — regardless of the imagery captured.

Additional photo credits:

Providence Journal

Ed Serowik

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Crescent Park is….

  1. I went to school with the guy in the Dodgems. Leif Reslow. Nice guy! Thanks for keeping these memories alive and sharing them.

    Like

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