The century-old Forest Park Carousel will be ridden for many generations to come now that it is an official New York City landmark.
The Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) made the classic Woodhaven ride a city treasure and ensured its preservation with a unanimous 8-0 vote on Tuesday, June 25.
“This designation is long overdue, but now that it’s here, we’re thrilled,” said Edward Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association. The association is one of the groups that have been fighting to get the carousel landmarked.
“With the carousel landmarked, we know it will be around for posterity, which is exactly how it should be.”
The carousel was shuttered from 2008 to 2012. Last year, New York Carousel Entertainment LLC, which also owns the carousel in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, decided to buy and revitalize it.
The carousel joins a small group of landmarked rides operating in the city. The other two are the Cyclone roller coaster and Deno’s Wonder Wheel in Coney Island.
“This is great news,” said Shirley Sullivan, a local resident. “I actually thought the carousel was a landmark all along. I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be.”
But not all residents felt the same way as Sullivan.
“I know it’s been here for a while and everyone loves it and it has a lot of history,” said Mathis Johnston. “But I think the title of landmark should be saved for things with actual historical significance, not just things that have been around for a long time.”
The carousel was crafted in 1910 by master carver Daniel Carl Muller. In 1973, it was brought to Forest Park. The ride features vibrant horses, lions and tigers and paintings depicting settings in Woodhaven and other parts of Queens.
“Designating the Forest Park Carousel is a tremendous win for our community that once feared it may never spin again,” said Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley, who lobbied LPC to designate the carousel. “Preserving our history strengthens our neighborhoods.”