Boston Valley Terra Cotta has been busy remaking the colorful and intricate sculptural pieces that are the trademark of the former Childs Restaurant on Coney Island.
Childs Restaurants were distinguished for their architectural quality and use of high-quality materials including white ceramic tile walls and floors, marble tables, and modern lighting. Designed by Hirons and Dennison, the colorful exterior facade depicted the ruler of the seas, Poseidon, various historical sailing ships, and sea creatures including fish, lobsters and crabs. The original terra cotta work had been crafted by the renowned Atlantic Terra Cotta Company.
This elaborate Spanish Revival Style building set the stage for the subsequent Childs Restaurants that would be modeled after this popular design. The nautical motif became a part of Childs image, even with locations farther inland.
After years of sitting vacant, the building is in the process of being redeveloped as the Seaside Park and Community Art Center. Opened in 1923, during the height of Coney Island’s popularity as a vacation spot for people to escape the city, the building served as a restaurant until the early 1950s. It was given NYC landmark status in 2002.
Boston Valley is working to replicate the historic terra cotta units so that the former restaurant can be restored and transformed into an outdoor amphitheater, park, and restaurant.