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Starlight Park

New York USA

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Starlight Park was an American amusement park, near West Farms Square east of the Bronx River in the New York City borough of The Bronx, New York, from 1918 to 1932. It was first called Exposition Park, as the grounds were originally laid out from 1917 to 1918 for the Bronx International Exposition of Science, Arts and Industries in 1918. It was renamed shortly after the exposition's close. The park featured fireworks displays, a roller coaster, a swimming pool, and carnival games of skill and chance. It also contained a stadium which was the home field of the New York Giants soccer team, but which also featured circuses, boxing and professional wrestling matches, and "midget auto racing". The 15,000-seat stadium came to be called the New York Coliseum (no relation to the building with that name in Columbus Circle of New York City's Manhattan borough). The stadium was originally built for the 1926 Sesquicentennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was transported to 177th Street and Devoe Avenue in the Bronx in 1928. The park was also home of the studios of radio station WBNX until the park's closure forced the station to find a new home. Starting in 1926, the park offered free programs of opera music in the summer, in an attempt to give the masses access to high culture at no cost. The shows were given in the open air until the Starlight Park Stadium was erected in 1928, and occurred in the stadium afterwards. On Saturday nights, big-band jazz played for dancers on an outdoor dance floor. In its time, it was considered something of a "blue collar country club". For many years, one of the park's most popular attractions was the submarine . After being constructed by Irish-American inventor John Philip Holland in 1888, the Holland became the first submarine commissioned by the United States Navy. She had been maintained by the navy at Norfolk, Virginia, for training purposes until 1914, when she became a museum ship in Philadelphia and Atlantic City, New Jersey. The submarine then moved to Starlight Park in 1918 and remained there until 1932, when she was disassembled for scrap as part of the entire park's demolition. In 1922, a roller-coaster accident killed one rider. In 1947, the stucco and wood bathing pavilion was destroyed by a fire. Pedestrian bridge in (unopened) public park Boat dock on opening day The northeastern part of the site became the West Farms Depot of MTA Regional Bus Operations. In 2013 the New York City Parks Department developed a public park on land west and south of the site, along both banks of the river, with the same name.

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