Monthly Archives: September 2011

Jane’s Carousel

Just opened on Friday, Sept. 16th, Jane’s Carousel has become one of my favorite spots in the city already. It’s hidden in plain view in Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo and I expect it will draw crowds faster than a carousel ride.

Made by Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1922 and originally installed in a park in Ohio, it’s the long time work of Jane and David Walentas who purchased the carousel at auction in 1984. Jane painstakingly removed 62 years of over-paint jobs to reach the original carvings, design and color palette, made carpentry repairs, repainted, re-leafed, replaced missing jewels, mirrors and whatever bits were lost.
Same went for the carousel’s panels, decorative panels and structural pieces. The mechanical system has been updated with a new motor and gear. The result is vibrant and new as well as is retro and nostalgic.

The carousel is housed in a simple yet stunning glass pavilion designed by Frech architect Jean Nouvel. Note in the pictures the (intentional) distortion of the outside world while inside – it’s like a parallel world or a magic cube. I couldn’t stop taking pictures, and believe me – I wasn’t the only one. It’s enchanting, it’s magical, happy, wondrous. Please do yourself a favor and go visit, I’m sure you’ll love it. Young and old, everybody enjoyed the ride with an almost incredulous face.

Meanwhile, enlarge the slideshow and enjoy.


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