NEW YORK (AP) – One of Coney Island’s best-known landmarks, the Parachute Jump, has found a brighter life after years of serving as a massive symbol of the boardwalk’s decay.

The 277-foot tower illuminated the Brooklyn sky Friday night after four decades in darkness.

Over two years, workers installed 17 lamps and attached 150 lighting fixtures to the boardwalk icon in a design by artist Leni Schwendinger.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz flipped the switch, swaddling onlookers and the structure in fuchsia and electric blue.

“It will be a beacon of light for this and future generations, harking and heralding Coney Island as a place where dreams come true,” Markowitz said.

The former amusement park ride, which hauled dangling passengers high in the air, then dropped them, was abandoned in 1965 when many of Coney Island’s seaside attractions closed down.

It was threatened with demolition several times until the city declared it a landmark. Still, for years it was inert, especially at night.

Visitors still won’t be able to ride or jump from the tower in its reincarnation as a nighttime beacon, but officials are hoping the project will add spark to Coney Island’s comeback.

Now home to minor league baseball, an excellent aquarium and a few surviving theme parks, Coney Island is being eyed for an estimated $1 billion in development aimed at creating a year-round attraction.

AP-ES-07-08-06 1442EDT


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