Paragon Park Memories

We are beginning a master plan for Nantasket Beach in Hull, Mass., a waterfront town on the South Shore of Massachusetts. Today Nantasket Beach is blanketed by surface parking lots and a knot of intertwining roads. I recently came to learn that those surface lots were once home to one of the biggest destinations on the South Shore, Paragon Park, a beach front amusement park in the tradition of Coney Island or Hampton Beach.

2510977306_63d2da9f3dLooking at old photos and listening to stories from our client, Paragon Park was an amusement paradise of roller coasters, carousels, a ferris wheel, penny arcades, bumper cars, skee-ball, etc. There was the “Kooky Kastle”, The Giant Coaster, Auto-Scooters, the”Turnpike Ride”, the Trabant, the Tilt-A-Whirl, Galaxy Coaster, the SkydiverParatrooper,  MatterhornHimalayaRound UpScrambler, Crazy Tea Cups, Twister Kiddie Coaster, Caterpillarthe Whip, Batman-slide, Super-slide, Salt and Pepper Shakers, Swing ride, Rotor, Bermuda Triangle, Congo Cruise, Jungle Ride, the list goes on!

Scene_in_Paragon_Park,_Nantasket_Beach,_MAParagon Park 1984 5You could grab fried clams, take a stroll on the boardwalk, watch the parade of hot rods, lay on the beach, and slyly check out those gams. Today the only remnant of it is the original carousel. The Giant Coaster was removed in 1985.

185986_1729011058226_2691280_nThe Giant Coaster (1917-1985)arcade

Here is a website that chronicles some Paragon Park Memories

Also, here is LENGTHY retrospective of it.

SO, what do you think? Take away the insurance liabilities and seasonal nature of an amusement park, would it be a good idea to resurrect Paragon Park?! Is there a place for more amusement parks at summer spots?

-Drew

4 thoughts on “Paragon Park Memories

  1. WOW, what a project! Talk about nostalgia. All those photos give you a great impression of what it was once like. One can easily imagine walking along the boardwalk, smelling the carnival food, hearing the screams form the coaster, feeling the cool ocean breeze on your face. There is certainly a lot of context to work with. It’s a shame the roller coaster has been removed, that would have been an amazing structure to do something with.

    Per your question, I say go for it! Although, one could never truly revive Paragon Park. Except for a few rusty remains, it is all but a memory. The site and the world around it have. But the essence of the amusement park has remained, and it is a shame to see a place that was once filled with so much excitement and joy in such a dilapidated state. I don’t think the world needs another Paragon Park, or else it would have remained to this day. What it needs is something new, something fresh. A new excitement. A contemporary design that feeds off the nostalgia of the place giving the community back its amusement. People want and need a place to go, have fun, and cut loose. Especially by the beach in the summer months.

    I am curious to what a contemporary version of a 1950’s atomic family amusement park would look like. Is it possible to do something like that, or was that charm only capable in that era? Is it possible to provide new-age, world-wide technological amusement on a genius loci scale? I am really excited to see what you come up with!

  2. Wow, I just came across this blog and I’m so excited I can’t even tell you. As a resident, my husband and I drive around Hull ALL the time looking at all the potential Hull has to offer. This little town desperately needs something. For such a beautiful beach town, it has been seriously neglected over the years. The main strip on Nantasket ave across from the beach is a disgrace. They have a few nice places, like Dalat, and a few others but over all it looks horrible because there is more rundown/closed up places then there are nice ones. Beach fire has one of the best locations over looking the ocean and has been closed for the last 2 years. The huge building next door, the former SS charter school has been closed forever and is a terrible eyesore. I think they should move the HS closer to town and build some sort of attraction right near the commuter boat. PLEASE, help to bring Hull back to life!!!

  3. Great times were always had as a child back in the 60’s at Paragon Park. I am lucky enough to own a Kooky Kastle ride car as well as the original doors and sign that was atop the front face of the ride. Anybody have photos of the interior of the ride?

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