Final demolition under way at Rocky Point
WARWICK, R.I. —
The rusted remains of the Rocky Point amusement park are clear for everyone to see in Warwick.
"It's sad. It's sad because we used to go to the Shore Dinner Hall and it was fantastic. It was unbelievable," said Frank Wunderler of Warwick.
Wunderler and his wife, Nancy, used to visit the attraction and go on dates at the Palladium.
"I liked going to the Palladium and dancing because we had beautiful music in that era," Nancy Wunderler said.
Now the sounds of demolition are music to her ears.
Nancy Wunderler said she's excited the state Department of Environmental Management plans to clear the land and open it as a park.
The park closed in 1995 after going bankrupt. The state bought the land 18 years later, and now demolition crews are finally tearing down parts of the Palladium.
A fence separates the state's land from the city's land. The DEM said once demolition is finished, the fence will come down and the land will be open to all.
"The majority of the work to be done in 75 days. The idea is when fall comes around, we should be able to open it up at least for public events," DEM Director Janet Coit said.
Coit said at first the park will have walking paths and places to fish. The state also wants to restore the dock and take ideas from the public.
"Eventually, I'd like to see a merry-go-round," Frank Wunderler said.
The Wunderlers said it will never be the same as it was, but they're excited to make new memories.
The DEM said it has enough money to get through the demolition stages. But the state will need private funding to further develop the land.