Five ways to re-re-purpose Boardwalk timber

The Brooklyn Paper
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Wood reclaimed from the Coney Island Boardwalk after Hurricane Sandy was re-purposed for a boardwalk at an Italian world’s fair. But what’s to come of it after the fete is over? Turns out it’s going to be re-recycled!

Boardwalk boosters were shocked last week to learn that the architects who designed the U.S.A. Pavilion at Milan’s sustainable-food-themed Expo 2015 used floors made of genuine Rieglemann Boardwalk planks that a lumber-salvaging company rescued after Hurricane Sandy ripped them from the esplanade in 2012. But back at the People’s Playground, the city wants to replace the storied planks with concrete and synthetic boards.

Once the expo wraps up in October, the pavilion’s builder says the well-traveled timber will go on to greater things.

“We will work with [lumber salvager] Sawkill to reuse, resell or return the planks to give the material yet another life,” said architect James Biber.

But as what?

We say ship that wood back to Brooklyn! Here are out top-five suggestions for re-re-purposing boards from the Boardwalk.

5. Pulp non-fiction

Talk about getting the front-page wood! Send some of that Boardwalk our way, and we’ll pulverize it and print The Brooklyn Paper on it. Imagine — the first draft of history on truly historic paper.

4. Batter up

Sooner or lathe-r someone ought to turn some of that pristine teak into Rieglemann Sluggers for our beloved Boys of Summer, the Brooklyn Cyclones. We can only assume that, like Wonder Boy from 1984’s “The Natural,” Boardwalk war clubs would be imbued with mystical powers.

3. Bolster the borough

Boardwalk wood survived the worst storm to hit Brooklyn in recent memory — why not use it to shore up some of the borough’s beyond-aged infrastructure? Windows are collapsing in public schools, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway is crumbling, and the Brooklyn Bridge is falling down. Think!

2. Fire it up

Locavores eat your hearts out. Lug that lumber over to Totonno’s and fire up the ovens! Foodies would come from near and far to taste a pie cooked with Boardwalk timber at the 90-year-old Neptune Avenue mainstay.

1. Rebuild the Boardwalk

This one’s a little outside of the box. The city could use the wood to — and bear with us here — to build a Boardwalk. No one likes the city’s plan to put in a seaside sidewalk — they should axe the concrete scheme and fashion an esplanade from wood. We could name it after a famous turn-of-the-century politician, or just call it the “Coney Island Boardwalk” — yeah, that’s got a nice ring to it.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Charlie from Coney Island says:
This wood was not "ripped" from the Boardwalk by Hurricane Sandy. It was removed by contractors when the concrete sections were constructed at the west end of the Boardwalk.
June 18, 2015, 10:48 am

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