(NAPSI)—Take a ride through history in a new book about a theme park that opened 60 years ago—and was secretly doomed from the start.
“Freedomland U.S.A.: The Definitive History,” by Michael R. Virgintino, documents the entire story from conception to bankruptcy of one of the most innovative and beloved theme parks in America. Published by Theme Park Press, the book features first-time interviews with park employees and never-before-published photographs.
Freedomland U.S.A. was celebrated as the “Disneyland of the East.” Visitors came from across the country and around the world. While it survived only five seasons—before the northeast Bronx marshland where it was built became a housing development and a shopping center—to this day the park generates fond memories among those who enjoyed its history-themed attractions.
The park was conceived to tell the story, in an entertaining way, of America’s history. Unknown at the time, however, landowner William Zeckendorf, Sr., local politicians, city planners and construction unions considered the park a “placeholder” until property variances permitted construction of the largest cooperative housing community in the world.
“Co-op City was on New York City’s blueprints before the first shovel of dirt was turned to build the park,” explained Virgintino. “Freedomland U.S.A. was doomed to fail before the first guest entered the park.” The book puts to rest the urban legend that the demise of Freedomland U.S.A. was caused by the New York World’s Fair.
The book can be enjoyed not just by those who recall Freedomland, but by anyone who appreciates history or theme parks, since it thoroughly showcases a park created and built by C. V. Wood, the man who built Disneyland, Six Flags Over Texas and several other venues.
It’s available on Amazon at http://amzn.com/1683901770, eBay and Goodreads.