Located in Rye, N.Y., Playland Ice Casino is the only Art Deco and government-owned amusement park in the U.S. In 1927, the Westchester County Park Commission purchased two theme parks to redevelop and hired Frank Darling, a well-known amusement park man, to design, construct, operate and manage Playland. With assistance from architectural firm Walker and Gillette and amusement park ride creator Frederick Church, the park opened in 1928 and features a Dragon Coaster, the park's mascot and most iconic attraction.
The 80-feet-high Dragon Coaster has 3,400 feet of track and is one of about 100 wooden roller coasters still in operation in the U.S. The amusement park also is home to one of only three Derby Racer carousels still in existence.
In 1929, one year after opening the park, the ice casino was built. The facility includes a main ice rink, full dance floor on the second floor, a restaurant and an outdoor café. During a 1970's renovation, small and midsized ice rinks were added. The New York Rangers hockey team used the ice casino as its practice facility until 2003. The Manhattanville Valiants Men's Hockey Team from Manhattanville College, located in nearby Purchase, N.Y., currently plays its home games in the ice casino.
In 1987, the resort was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. About 400,000 people visit the amusement park attractions every summer. Despite declining park attendance during recent years, Westchester County has affirmed its commitment to keeping the Playland Ice Casino site as public park land and currently is in the midst of a multiyear initiative to reinvent the 100-acre park. In 2014, Milcon Construction Corp., West Babylon, N.Y., renovated the ice casino's roof system.