Idora park restoration effort

Idora park restoration effort

Post by Mary Ann Pi » Thu, 04 Feb 1993 00:24:24


I don't know if anyone in ACE or in this newsgroup is aware of this,
so I thought I'd post it for anyone who is interested.

A week or so ago, one of the local radio talk shows had a show on
western PA area amu***t parks that were no more (people just
called in and talked about parks that they used to visit). A man
called in from Youngstown Ohio (which is an hour and a half from
Pittsburgh) to say that they had formed a group called the Idora
Park Historical Society, and that they were trying to buy the park
and restore it as much as possible. They need $400,000 to buy the
park, from what I understand. Also, apparently, some places that
bought the rides when the park was closed down are willing to
give/sell them back to the park.

The man from Youngstown is hoping to get Pittsburgh corporations
that used to have their company picnics at Idora to donate money
towards the restoration. His name was Rick Blackwell, and he gave
his phone number, but I don't want to post it to the net without his
permission (although, he broadcast it over a 50,000 watt am station
when he went on the talk show). If anyone is interested in
contacting him, let me know and I'll mail you his phone number.

It's too bad I didn't even know the park existed because it sounds
like the roller coasters were pretty good. One reason that I'd like
to see it re-open is that I'm pretty sure that the racer was built
by the same company that built West View's racer, and I'd love to
try it out and compare them.


Software Engineering Institute          
Carnegie-Mellon University              
Pittsburgh PA                                  

 
 
 

Idora park restoration effort

Post by Tom Maglio » Fri, 05 Feb 1993 10:03:57


Quote:
> (Some stuff deleted)
>A week or so ago, one of the local radio talk shows had a show on
>western PA area amu***t parks that were no more (people just
>called in and talked about parks that they used to visit). A man
>called in from Youngstown Ohio (which is an hour and a half from
>Pittsburgh) to say that they had formed a group called the Idora
>Park Historical Society, and that they were trying to buy the park
>and restore it as much as possible. They need $400,000 to buy the
>park, from what I understand. Also, apparently, some places that
>bought the rides when the park was closed down are willing to
>give/sell them back to the park.

There was a group called Historic Amu***t Foundation (HAF) which
sprang up several years ago. Their goal was to get a park built
(somewhere in Ohio or Indiana as I recall) and fill it with nothing
but historically significant amu***t rides, particularly coasters.
I recall that their primary goal was to get Idora's two coasters:
The Wildcat and the Jack Rabbit. As far as I can tell, they took the
money (including some from me) and ran and nothing got done.

Quote:
> (more stuff deleted)
>It's too bad I didn't even know the park existed because it sounds
>like the roller coasters were pretty good.

I personally never got to ride Idora's coasters, but it really bugs me
to hear some really credible sources tell me that Idora's Wildcat was
the BEST coaster they had ever ridden, ever.

Quote:
>One reason that I'd like
>to see it re-open is that I'm pretty sure that the racer was built
>by the same company that built West View's racer, and I'd love to
>try it out and compare them.

I don't know what you're talking about here, to the best of my knowledge
Idora never had a racing coaster. Anyone else have any more info about
this topic?

Tom Maglione

 
 
 

Idora park restoration effort

Post by scott.a.ka » Fri, 05 Feb 1993 04:52:39

Oh, I hope they do resore Idora Park!!!  I remember going there many times as a
kid, at least once a summer, and used to love the park.  The best thing I can
remember though was the Wildcat.  The stories you used to hear while in line
about the rotted wood, and the rust built up on some of the tracks added to
the e***ment of the ride.  I don't know how badly the Wildcat was damaged
by the fire, but I hope that they can find some way to restore it.  I almost
have as many good memories of Idora as I do about Kennywood, jeez, Western
Pa was a great area to grow up in (Kennywood, Idora, Cedar Point, Geauga Lake)
I want to go back!!!!
                                        Scott
--
    Scott Kaye                            "Were going to need another Timmy."
    AT&T                                    -Mr. Lizard              
    100 Southgate Pkwy                     I can't speak for myself, so how
    Morristown, NJ  07960                  could I speak for AT&T?

 
 
 

Idora park restoration effort

Post by Bill Buckl » Fri, 05 Feb 1993 23:18:07

Mary Ann Pike writes in response to Tom Maglione...

Quote:
>>There was a group called Historic Amu***t Foundation (HAF) which
>>sprang up several years ago. Their goal was to get a park built
>>(somewhere in Ohio or Indiana as I recall) and fill it with nothing
>>but historically significant amu***t rides, particularly coasters.
>>I recall that their primary goal was to get Idora's two coasters:
>>The Wildcat and the Jack Rabbit. As far as I can tell, they took the
>>money (including some from me) and ran and nothing got done.
>From what I understand, this group (Idora Historical Society) has only
>been in existence for a few months...I don't know if has any connection
>with this other group that you mentioned.

Tom is correct -- about 5 years ago, this HAF group tried to get the
coasters from IDORA -- ACE even made a large donation from their
preservation fund for this.  They (HAF) disappeared and were never
really heard from again?!

The only talk *I* have heard in recent months has been a concentrated
effort to have the BALLROOM at Idora restored and deemed a national
historical landmark.  I've personally heard nothing about restoring the
park.

Quote:
>>I personally never got to ride Idora's coasters, but it really bugs me
>>to hear some really credible sources tell me that Idora's Wildcat was
>>the BEST coaster they had ever ridden, ever.
>Why would this annoy you? For example, I feel that West View's Dips and
>Racing Whippet were 2 of the best coasters I have ever ridden. And, of
>course, they no longer exist, so those who never rode them can't make
>their own opinions.

I can see where Tom is coming from.  It annoys me as well.  I never got to
ride the WILDCAT, but all who did said it was the #1 coaster -- period.
Well, I want to ride everyone's #1!!!

Quote:
>I may be wrong about this...I'm sure that they said that the park had
>another coaster (not the Wildcat) that was build by the Horten company,
>and I thought they said it was a racer, but I may not have heard correctly.
>(I take it the Jack Rabbit was not a racer).

The Jack Rabbit was a side-friction coaster which was later converted into
a std-format out-and-back coaster.

From my knowledge of the coasters at Idora through the parks history,
I never heard of a racing coaster there either.  Tom Reilly, you out
there???

B.

 
 
 

Idora park restoration effort

Post by Mary Ann Pi » Fri, 05 Feb 1993 18:34:06

Quote:


>> (Some stuff deleted)

>There was a group called Historic Amu***t Foundation (HAF) which
>sprang up several years ago. Their goal was to get a park built
>(somewhere in Ohio or Indiana as I recall) and fill it with nothing
>but historically significant amu***t rides, particularly coasters.
>I recall that their primary goal was to get Idora's two coasters:
>The Wildcat and the Jack Rabbit. As far as I can tell, they took the
>money (including some from me) and ran and nothing got done.

From what I understand, this group (Idora Historical Society) has only
been in existence for a few months...I don't know if has any connection
with this other group that you mentioned.
Quote:
>> (more stuff deleted)
>>It's too bad I didn't even know the park existed because it sounds
>>like the roller coasters were pretty good.

>I personally never got to ride Idora's coasters, but it really bugs me
>to hear some really credible sources tell me that Idora's Wildcat was
>the BEST coaster they had ever ridden, ever.

Why would this annoy you? For example, I feel that West View's Dips and
Racing Whippet were 2 of the best coasters I have ever ridden. And, of
course, they no longer exist, so those who never rode them can't make
their own opinions. Does this mean they weren't really good coasters?
Quote:
>>One reason that I'd like
>>to see it re-open is that I'm pretty sure that the racer was built
>>by the same company that built West View's racer, and I'd love to
>>try it out and compare them.

>I don't know what you're talking about here, to the best of my knowledge
>Idora never had a racing coaster. Anyone else have any more info about
>this topic?

I may be wrong about this...I'm sure that they said that the park had
another coaster (not the Wildcat) that was build by the Horten company,
and I thought they said it was a racer, but I may not have heard correctly.
(I take it the Jack Rabbit was not a racer).


Software Engineering Institute          
Carnegie-Mellon University              
Pittsburgh PA                                  

 
 
 

Idora park restoration effort

Post by Tom Maglio » Sat, 06 Feb 1993 10:53:28

Hi Mary Ann,
        The thing that bugs me about the coasters at Idora is that I didn't
get to ride them, and yet they still stand there rotting away, possibly some
of the greatest coaster trackage that ever existed! So close, yet so far.

And yes, the Jack Rabbit was (is) not a racer. There was also a wooden
kiddie coaster at Idora; a friend of mine actually owns this, and has
moved several pieces of it to his home in Chardon, Ohio, altho much of
the structure still remains at the Idora site.

I would hope that the new organization that you mentioned was not affiliated
with the HAF; HAF has succeeded in alienating themselves from anyone who has
ever had contact with them in the past. I wish the new group much luck, let
us know what we can do, if anything, to help.

Tom.

 
 
 

Idora park restoration effort

Post by Tom Reill » Thu, 11 Feb 1993 02:31:29

Bill Buckley writes..

Quote:
>From my knowledge of the coasters at Idora through the parks history,
>I never heard of a racing coaster there either. Tom Reilly, you out
>there???

    Yeah, Buck, I'm here... and I'm sorry I missed this thread until
now. I'm swamped with work & haven't had any time to catch up on my
newsgroups..

    You're right, Idora never had a racer. The Jack Rabbit was an out-
and-back, one terrific coaster.

    And the Wildcat?   Indescribable!  :-)

    And Buck, thanks for the pointer to that video on Idora Park. The
POV footage of the Wildcat brought back TERROR memories!  :-)  I'd let
you see it but Lynne Sigel is borrowing it tomorrow to look at the
carousel (PTC # 61). :-)

    I'm in snail-mail correspondence with a woman back in Youngstown
and she's going to keep me in mind for anything she sees or hears about
Idora. She loved that park too. I asked her if she could take some
pictures of the place for me. She said she would but she said "you
really don't want to see the place now."  :-(  

    This is the first I've heard about this new Idora Park Historical
Society!   I most certainly wish them all the luck in the world. What
I wouldn't give to be able to go back there and ride those coasters
one more time!!  *SIGH*  :-)

Tom Reilley                              

30 Forbes Road
Northboro, MA 01532-2595 USA

 
 
 

Idora park restoration effort

Post by Bill Buckl » Thu, 11 Feb 1993 02:15:33

Quote:
Tom Reilley writes:
>    This is the first I've heard about this new Idora Park Historical
>Society!   I most certainly wish them all the luck in the world. What
>I wouldn't give to be able to go back there and ride those coasters
>one more time!!  *SIGH*  :-)

Well, FYI to Tom and the other people who were involved in the Idora
Park/HAS note string...

First off, The Idora Park Historical Society is a non-profit
corporation in Ohio with the sole purpose to restore and re-open
the Ohio landmark -- Idora Park!!  If anyone would like to help
in this ambitious endeavor, or would like more information on the
group/effort, please write to the following address:

Idora Park Historical Society
P.O. Box 1384
Youngstown, OH  44501

*******

Now, in terms of what's going on with Idora, the park...

FORECLOSURE LAWSUIT BRINGS SALE THREAT

Youngstown Vindicator
January 21, 1993

(re-printed w/o premission)

More than 26 acres comprising Idora Park on Youngstown's South Side
could be sold at a sheriff sale before the year's end as a result of
a foreclosure suit against the owner.

Mahoning County filed the suit this week in common pleas court because
Consumers United Insurance Co. of Washington, D.C., owes $26,107 in
back taxes on the property, dating back to 1990.

Mary Fitzgerald, administrator of the prosecutor's foreclosure
division, said the suit follows repeated attempts to get the company
to pay.

"We try to be understanding and try to give the people the benefit
of the doubt", she said.  "They were not given any more or less
consideration than we would give anyone else.  But we can't be taken
advantage of".

Consumers United officials could not be reached for comment.

Miss Fitzgerald said it takes from siz to eight months for the property
to reach sherrif sale, at which bidding starts at the amount of
delinquent taxes.

A sale could bode will for the Idora Park Historical Society, which was
formed last year to lobby the city to buy Idora and preserve the park.
Mayor Patrick J. Ungaro want the city, county, and Mill Creek
Metropolitan Park District to putting up money to buy the park.

The city received an appraisal placing the value of the land and buildings
at $290,000.

Miss Fitzgerald said the county treasurer's office tried to work with
the company to get payment before turning the property over to the
prosecutor.  She said she also talked with a company official several
times since late December.

Idora closed in 1984 ater it's 90th season.  Consumers United bought
the park in 1989 and immediately put it up for sale.