Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Jane's Carousel, Brooklyn Bridge Park


I recently blogged about the beautiful new Brooklyn Bridge Park, in Brooklyn, New York, which you can read at this link. A brand new edition to the park that opened last week on September 16, 2011, is a wonderful vintage carousel, called Jane's Carousel. If you look closely at the photo above, nestled on the end of a peninsular portion of the park, in front of the Brooklyn Bridge from this perspective, is the acrylic building that houses the carousel. Let's walk closer....


Now you can see how the carousel is situated in the park between the Brooklyn Bridge to the left....


....and the Manhattan Bridge to the right.


The charming Jane's Carousel is housed in a spectacular Pavilion designed by Pritzker Prize winning French architect Jean Nouvel.  According to the website: "Jane's Carousel is a completely restored historic Carousel made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company (PTC #61) in 1922. It is a classic 3-row machine with 48 exquisitely carved horses, and 2 superb chariots. The wood carvings, often attributed to John Zalar and Frank Carretta, are among the finest of their kind. In addition, the scenery panels, rounding boards, crests, center pole and platform are all original to the Carousel. It was the first Carousel to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places."


"In 1983, as the designated developer of Empire Fulton Ferry State Park, David Walentas had commissioned a Master Plan for the park that called for an historic carousel to be installed. Jane and David Walentas purchased the Carousel at auction on October 21, 1984.

When purchased, the Carousel was in poor condition. Jane Walentas began its restoration at her studio here in Dumbo in 1984. Her initial tasks included making necessary carpentry repairs and hand-scraping away 62 years of "Park Paint" with an X-acto knife to reveal the original 1922 carvings, color palette, and designs. The discoveries were carefully recorded with photographs, color matches, and detailed drawings that guided the repainting of the Carousel. The horses were rendered in faithful detail. The highly decorative carved trappings were newly painted and re-leafed. Missing embellishments such as faceted jewels, small beveled mirrors on the bridles, and delicate pinstriping were restored."


"The Carousel's rounding boards, scenery panels and structural pieces were also repainted, stenciled, and re-leafed. Blackened varnish was removed from original paintings to reveal their true colors. Dozens of old beveled mirrors were reglazed. Mechanical systems were updated with new gears, motor and an electronic controller. Totally rewired, the Carousel now dazzles with 1200 brilliant lights."


The entire story of Jane's Carousel is inscribed on this mirrored monument at the site. The Carousel and the Nouvel commissioned Pavilion are a gift from the Walentas family to the people of the City of New York. It was truly a labor of love by Jane Walentas, and now, after years of restoration and storage, the carousel is finally a wonderful reality!


The day I was there to see it there were lines of happy children waiting to take a ride for a modest price of $2.   I think the children's parents were just as excited to see and ride the carousel.

Who wouldn't love to be a child again, even it is for just a few minutes of a carousel ride?  I know I enjoyed my ride!

You can watch a minute of the carousel ride on my video above or at this link.



You can watch a minute of the ride on my video above or at this link.

The carousel is open everyday except Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. More information about hours and directions can be seen at this link.


I'm linking this post to the following blog events:
Whistlestop Cafe Cooking's "Traveling Tuesday"
"Outdoor Wednesday"
"Alphabe Thursday" -- the letter this week is "W" and I can't think of many more things more Wonderful than a carousel
"Pink Saturday" for all the color pink in the painted horses

Click on the links to go to the events -- many thanks to all the blog hosts!


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80 comments:

Marilyn said...

The Carosel, as with everything else is spectacular. I had a friend who lived in Brooklyn. She passed away about 12 years ago. I will have to look & see if I can find the street she lived on....
I really miss her!!
Marilyn

Jo said...

I wish I was riding Jane's Carousel right now,then catch a cab to Little Italy and grab some great Festival grub.
~JO

⚜ ↁℯℬℬᴵℰ⚜@ Debbiedoos blogging and blabbing said...

I can't believe how fast this went up. It is gorgeous! And yes I would love to be a kid again. I am so happy they restored it. It will have a lovely new home.

Pamela Gordon said...

This is just fantastic! What a beautiful carousel. It would be the only ride I'd feel comfortable on at the fair. lol I'm a scaredy cat when it comes to heights or fast rides. This is a beautiful restoration.

Vee said...

Oh and what horse did you choose? A dashing white steed or a dappled gray? What fun and I can see two little grands having the time of their life next time they visit NYC.

Anne said...

I'm hoping to return to NYC next year and this is one of things we're all looking forward to. We were all very impressed with Brooklyn Bridge Park and we're hoping they have outdoor cinema there again next year. We had a great evening watching "Rear Window" when we were there in 2010.

Barbara F. said...

This is great for the park. Do they have benches, too, for old fogeys like me to ride? I was wondering if the Walentas (another good "W" ;)) are related to the circus trapeze artists? xo,

Linda said...

How wonderful!! I would have been right there in line for a ride! Jane did a marvelous job...how awesome to have that there at the park!!

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Pat, I love carousels, and this one is stunning. What a generous and loving gift to the City. I cannot even imagine the work that went into this restoration. Thank you for sharing this beauty. laurie

Kate said...

What a beautiful carousel! Loved the story.

Yvette said...

Oh how wonderful, Pat. I adore carousels, always have.

I would love to bring Julianna to this special place. I've sent your post to my daughter. :)

Yvette said...

Oh how wonderful, Pat. I adore carousels, always have.

I would love to bring Julianna to this special place. I've sent your post to my daughter. :)

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

The carosel is amazing! I love to see your close ups to see the details! Enjoy your week! ♥

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Is there anything more exciting than a carosel? The music alone makes my heart beat a little faster and gives a thrill!

Come join us for Traveling Tuesdays @ the whistlestop cafe~

Vittle me this... said...

so beautiful!

Farmchick said...

What a beautiful carousel. I would love to take a ride on a horse!

Light and Voices said...

Brings back memories of riding many carosels. I would love to ride on that one.
Joyce M

The Gathering Place said...

A restored carousel-how fun! Looks like a great place for an afternoon with the grandkids!

myletterstoemily said...

what an inspiring story and spectacular
carousel! never met a jane i didn't like!!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone!


Anne, there were movie nights this summer, so hopefully they will return next summer!

Yes, Barbara the carousel has two beautiful carriage benches on it. The name sounds slightly familiar but the trapeze artists were the "Wallendas."

Vee, ever since childhood I've always loved to ride the black stallion on a carousel. This one had several handsome ones.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Jane Walentas did an amazing job of restoring that old beauty. I just love it. Thank you for letting us see it! blessings ~ tanna

podso said...

What a wonderful carousel! It takes me back to Asbury Park, NJ and the gold ring carousel! how I would love to visit this area again!

Ginny said...

This is just beautiful! And thanks for taking us on a ride with you.

Kris said...

What a beautiful story!!!!

Lisa@GrandmasBriefs said...

How charming! I love this story, and I find it fascinating that such a lovely carousel was created by a toboggan company. How unexpected! Thank you for sharing such a delight!

Oliag said...

I love carousels and this looks like a beauty! I would be standing right in that line! What a wonderful gift to the city:)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I just love this carousel, Pat! It is gorgeous and so much fun. Thanks for sharing all about it with us. Loved reading this.

Hope you and yours are doing well. Have missed you.

XO,

Sheila

Riet said...

What a beautiful carousel and what a lot of work to make it so again Pat. I love those old carousels, there is always one at our yearly fair and from now on I am going to look at the paintings and the horses. We take things for granted too much.
Have a lovely week.

Grandmother said...

The carousel is gorgeous. Thanks for the photos and the history. How wonderful that such a thing of beauty was saved and restored to be enjoyed by so many more people.

Ola said...

I love the carousel, pity that I am to old to use it:)

Veronica said...

I wanna be a kid again!!! I haven't seen such a gorgeous carousel in a very long time Pat!

Veronica

Old Kitty said...

Hoooray for Jane for restoring such a most magnificent carousel!! It's a true labour of love and best of all, it's open for use for all kids and kids at heart!! Brilliant!! Take care
x

Mary said...

Pat~ This is wonderful! So beautifully & painstakingly restored~ I'd be happy to take a ride :-)

From the Kitchen said...

What a lovely treat for children and adults alike. It's good when such pleasant parts of our past are restored.

Best,
Bonnie

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

I love carousels! We have one in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. It used to be a wooden one until they sold it and now a fiber-glass one is in it's place, which is beautiful but not the same.

I know where I'm headed when I go to the Big Apple! Thank you for another great tour of NYC!

Cathy said...

The carousel is spectacular, Pat. I've never seen one so large. We have several old ones in Oregon and they always draw large crowds during the summer months.

Gracie said...

I love everything vintage....and Nouvel is one of my daughter's favourites...

Tracy said...

Oh, such fun! That carousel is amazing...it's like something of a dream! What a wonderful addition to the park...beautiful idea! I have to go back and look at those photos again--the details on the carousel are just so beautiful! :o) Happy Day, Pat ((HUGS))

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Flea Market Makeovers said...

What a beautiful carousel!

nanny said...

Just a wonderful location for this beautiful carousel......

I love the picture you made of the mirrored monument! Great shot!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Great story. How nice to have it restored and in action. And yes...kids of all ages love carousels! My granddaughters are most impressed that the neighbours have a horse from a vintage carousel in the grand entry to their home.

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Another wonderful post Pat! I like the architectural difference between the antique carousel and the very modern building it is housed in. It is definitely a treat for my eyes!

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Pat!

I love the Brooklyn Bridge and I love carousels... what a great combo! The carousel is gorgeous, what great memories of horsey rides on them.

You have so much to do in NYC... what a great place!!

Big hugs to you! Sherry

Dianne said...

beautiful photos
I can't wait to visit there
I saw the opening on the news

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I don't know what I like more - the carousel or the building housing it.

Donna said...

Oh, it's wonderful! My sister and brother-in-law were just talking about this the other day. It's nice to get a chance to see it and learn more about it!

Thanks, Pat!

Annie said...

Lovely. You always post the best things.

once in a blue moon said...

how fun to see this here, i just watched about it on sunday morning :)

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

It is absolutely MAGICAL!

Vee said...

Oh that was fun to return and look at the photos enlarged just because I could! Great details!

Pondside said...

Who wouldn't wish to ride on that carousel? It brings out the inner little girl in me!
I love your new photo, by the way!

Vicki/Jake said...

Wow, how wonderful! I love the Carosel music too! Thanks for sharing this:)

Sheila said...

Jane's Carousel is so amazing. it must be a delight to see and ride on. It reminds me of the beautiful Carousel at the Riverside Park in Spokane Washington. Our children loved that way back in the 80's. You've taken us all back in time today.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Wonderful! This is such a pretty carousel! I love all its vivid colors.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

The old carousels are so pretty. When I was growing up my friend's mother had one or two of the ponies in her living room. They sat in front of a wall of windows,so very pretty!

taylorsoutback said...

Carousels are so magical...always my favorite when growing up. Here in Wisconsin, at the House on the Rock, there is a carousel that features 269 animals - and not one of them is a horse. Supposed to be the largest carousel in the world??

Jeanne said...

Pat, what a thrill to see the magical Carousel. The restoration is amazing and looks gorgeous. I too would love to ride the lovely historical treasure. I enjoyed the history so much.
Thank you Pat for another lovely post to share.
XO, Jeanne

M.Kate said...

Nice carousel,I would love to ride on one too. Happy days ahead Pat :) hugs..MK

LR @ Magnificent or Egregious said...

How fun would that be!

Karen S. said...

I agree and wonderful it is!

deb said...

YES YES I wanna go for a ride on it!!!!!!!!!!!!! great pictures, thanks so much!!!

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

Wow! Wow! Wow! Gorgeous! Don't these just bring out the child in everyone? FANTASTIC!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

How beautiful Pat. I knew it was French the minute I laid my eyes on it, even before you said so. What a treasure to be able to visit.
Sam

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

It's just wonderful. I will definitely add that to my list of places to visit next time I'm in the city....

Mary said...

Oh I love carousels...this one is just beautiful, I would love to ride on it...alas, just too far away from Texas...

tidbitsandtreasures2011 said...

What an undertaking, but how nice to know that a precious piece of our past has been preserved for new generations to enjoy. Wonderful indeed!

tidbitsandtreasures2011 said...

What an undertaking, but how nice to know that a precious piece of our past has been preserved for new generations to enjoy. Wonderful indeed!

Susie Jefferson said...

I love carousels - Proper Roundabouts,to my mind (none of this modern stuff, lol). So pretty.

Happy Pink Saturday from the UK!

LV said...

Enjoyed your blog and day in New York.

A Garden of Threads said...

A carousel ride nothing better. Lovely pictures. Take care and enjoy the week.

bj said...

I loved Carosels or Merry Go Rounds as we called them, when I was a child. Then, loved them again when I had small children...THEN, loved them again with my grands...:))

thestonerabbit said...

Well, you certainly covered a lot of ground with that great post....4 blogging events....how funny! :)

That spot looks awesome and I did enjoy the video. I saw a child with a pink jacket/sweater and thought you might use that for Pink Sat. :) The horses were great, too!

Loved your information about the carousel, Pat. As always, a very delightful and informative post!

Hope you're having a grand weekend.....it's fantastic in the mid west. Has been for a few days and is predicted to stay the same through next weekend!! Yay!!

L, Dana

pinkkandy said...

Happy pinkness...Happy Autumn....I am so excited for Fall, I know you are too !!It just makes me want to cozy up...enjoy your week-end!
God Bless You
Kandy

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Pat dear,

This carousel is magnificent...and I would never have known! What child, or the child inside us, wouldn't love to watch and ride on this remnant of our past.

Jane's work and dedication is beyond amazing.

Thank you!

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

I'd like to thank you for your kind words about my mom, she will be forever missed and in our hearts.

Jenny said...

How beautiful!

What a wonderful step back into time. Those vintage carousels are just enchanting!

Thanks for the lovely link this week Miss Pat!

I didn't even get dizzy on the ride!

A+

Icy BC said...

Looks like a wonderful place to spend time! Beautiful photos and mosaics.

Annesphamily said...

I always enjoy your posts. This was wonderful. I love carousels so I really liked the post. Thank you as always for sharing. Anne

Claudia said...

A ride on that carousel is in my future. (And the Carousel is the only ride I will do!)

kathstewart said...

We have a carousel near us, I posted a photo of one of the horses today and then noticed your link on our site through BlogHer. The rides are five cents, a local spinster who was quite wealthy left In her estate instructions and money that the carousel should always be cared for and only five cents a ride. I don't know how true the story is, but the rides are only five cents. It is called the Lakeside Carousel in Ontario Canada near Niagara Falls. Cheers!