After almost 50 years since Freedomland U.S.A. closed in the northeast Bronx, America’s theme park may finally be commemorated on the actual site of the popular New York City attraction.
For years, resistance or apathy to honor the park by Bronx officials have prevented the erection of a plaque or marker to this unique amusement area, which was known as “The World’s Largest Entertainment Center” and the “Disneyland of the East.” Freedomland lasted from 1960 until 1964. The site now is occupied by Co-op City and the adjacent shopping center.
A group of Freedomland fans is raising money for the marker. To support the effort, donors now can own a piece of Freedomland, The Bronx and theme park history. A former Freedomland employee has donated a collection of authentic souvenir tokens that were used at the park’s entrance turnstiles. Each token is the size of a silver dollar. The tokens were made from a heavy-weight aluminum type material. “Freedomland” and “Bronx New York,” along with other words, were stamped on each coin.
The cost is $10 per token plus $1.50 for postage and handling. All funds (after internet fees) will be used to purchase the memorial marker. Tokens can be purchased on eBay or on a Freedomland website.
The date for dedication of the marker has not been finalized. Fans are targeting this spring and close to the June 19 anniversary date when the park opened during 1960. The marker will be placed in an area of Co-op City that is near the location of the theme park’s entrance.
For periodic updates about the marker and the commemoration date, and to revisit the park, join the fun at Freedomland on Facebook.