Jane’s Carousel

22 Dec

I had the opportunity recently to visit Jane’s Carousel, which is a newly-restored vintage carousel which opened this past fall in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

From their 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.”

It is truly beautiful!

Here’s what I read about The Philadelphia Toboggan Company, from our pals at Wikipedia:

The Philadelphia Toboggan Company is one of the oldest existing roller coaster manufacturing companies in the world. Based in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, it was established in 1904, making various amusement devices, including carousels, wooden roller coasters, and their trains. The company’s carousels were preferred among discriminating clients, for their elaborate carvings and elegant decorations. The company built coasters from 1904 to 1979.”

I read that they built the Great American Scream Machine (located at Six Flags Over Georgia) in 1973.

Here’s a picture that I took of some of my friends when we enjoyed Six Flags in 1975:

But I digress…

Of course I love the horses on Jane’s Carousel!

And I love the music played – with the player piano and real drums.

But I may love the scenery panels most of all.

Here are a few of them:

Hubby and I had come across the carousel back in 2007, when it was still in its restoration stage.

The work studio was open to visitors, and we admired the carousel then, and examined the designs and plans displayed on the walls.

About the restoration, from the carousel’s website:

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.”

Jane’s Carousel is a must! Here’s how to visit:

“The Carousel is located in the DUMBO section of The Brooklyn Bridge Park, on the East River, between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. The Carousel is easily accessed from Park entrances at Dock Street or Main Street.”

FALL – WINTER, 2011 – 2012
November 6 – April 5
Thursday – Sunday
11:00 AM – 6:00PM

Tickets are $2.00. Children age 3 and younger and those under 42” tall may ride free if accompanied by a paying adult.”

Between the Brooklyn Bridge:

And between the Manhattan Bridge:

If you have time, it’s a thrilling walk over the Brooklyn Bridge from lower Manhattan to the Carousel. Take the footpath over the Bridge which exits on to Washington Street. Walk down the hill, toward the river on Washington Street to Front Street. Turn left on Front Street, walk 1 block to Main Street and turn right. Continue 2 blocks on Main Street to the park entrance at the river. The Carousel will be visible from the Park entrance.”




2 Responses to “Jane’s Carousel”

  1. Hubby December 22, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    Beautiful carousel! Those horses have a great view of New York City.

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