THE BRONX - The site of one of the largest shopping destinations in the borough was actually once known as the world's largest entertainment center.
Today it's Co-op City, but in the early 1960s it was home to Freedomland U.S.A., an amusement park with rides and attractions based on defining moments in American history. Some say its 205 acres even rivaled Disney.
A trip to Freedomland was not only about the fun, it was also a cross-country history lesson. Parkgoers could go back in time with a Civil War ride set in New Orleans and relive the earthquake of 1906 in San Francisco.
However, the innovative concept was perhaps too ambitious and expensive to maintain, forcing it to close in 1964 after only four years. Most of its rides and buildings were then sold off to other parks, and a Freedomland U.S.A. memorial plaque on Bartow Avenue is all that remains.