A recent piece in The Boston Globe by Jane Roy Brown does a nice job of describing the past, present and future of Rye Playland:
"RYE, N.Y. – The kids swarm onto the platform and hop into two-seater cars painted with Egyptian Revival wings and lightning bolts, like celestial chariots. Music pumps as the platform, a big wooden disk, begins to spin, and the cars, hooked to metal rods, swivel sharply this way and that. As the disk spins faster, the cars whip back and forth, hence the ride’s name – The Whip. The kids yelp with each bump and bounce, much as children have done on this ride since it was built, in 1928.
Rye Playland is your grandfather’s amusement park, possibly even your great-grandfather’s. Spread over a strand of beach on Long Island Sound, this park is also a work of art. When Westchester County bought the site in the late 1920s, it brought some of New York’s finest design talent to the table, including architects Walker & Gillette, landscape architect Gilmore Clarke, amusement park designer Frank Darling, and ride designer Frederick A. Church…
Last year, however, the multimillion-dollar operating cost prompted the county to solicit proposals to “reinvent’’ 100 of Playland’s 280 acres…. It will take a sensitive reinvention to create an environment as artful as the planned original. Playland’s layout takes advantage of the shoreline’s natural ledge outcrops and crescent of sand beach. The ocean scenery, which melts into a soft blue infinity when viewed from the rides, has transformed many a summer afternoon into a lifelong memory."
Read the entire piece.