Tag Archives: Forest Park Carousel

Forest Park Carousel honored in landmarking ceremony


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Eric Yun

Elected officials, residents and members of the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) held a ceremony to commemorate the designation of the Forest Park Carousel on Monday.

To honor the new landmark, the LPC unveiled a plaque, which states the history of the century-old carousel and its designer, Daniel Muller.

“Preserving our history strengthens our neighborhoods,” said Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley. “I was proud to work with the LPC, the Parks Department, and community advocates to ensure this historic carousel continues to be a treasure for future generations.”

The carousel was shuttered from 2008 to 2012, but last year, New York Carousel Entertainment LLC, which also owns the carousel in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, decided to buy and revitalize it.

The LPC made the classic Woodhaven ride a city treasure and ensured its preservation with a unanimous 8-0 vote on June 25.

The carousel, which was brought to Forest Park in 1973, is comprised of 49 horses, a lion, a tiger, a deer, and two chariots arranged in three concentric circles, all carved with great attention to detail. There are also paintings depicting settings in Woodhaven and other parts of Queens.

“It’s taken an enormous amount of well-deserved dedication and work over the past 40 years to save this exquisitely carved carousel,” said LPC Chair Robert Tierney. “It’s an incredible work of American folk art that was manufactured by a firm that was celebrated for its highly realistic work and attention to detail, and I’m delighted it will be protected for generations to come in one of the most picturesque settings in New York City.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Friday: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers, then a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers in the afternoon. High of 81. Winds from the SW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70% with rainfall amounts near 0.7 in. possible. Friday Night: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers, then a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain after midnight. Low of 72. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.3 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: An Evening Ride on the Forest Park Carousel to End Alzheimer’s

New Yorkers of all ages can enjoy “An Evening Ride on the Forest Park Carousel to End Alzheimer’s”  from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. The 2nd annual fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter will donate 100 percent of all proceeds from carousel rides to the Alzheimer’s NYC Chapter. Visitors can have unlimited carousel rides and face-painting for $10 or enjoy individual rides for $3. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Woman burned in Queens fire: FDNY

A woman suffered burns to over 40 percent of her upper body when a fire tore through her Queens home Thursday evening. Read more: NBC New York

NYPD sergeant who blew the whistle on fudged police reports slapped with departmental charges

An NYPD sergeant who blew the whistle on his fellow officers in a Queens precinct about routinely downgrading felonies to misdemeanors to make the crime rate look better has been slapped with departmental charges for speaking out about the misdeeds. Read more: New York Daily News

Subway shark mystery solved?

A family from Brooklyn is offering some insight into the bizarre discovery of a dead shark on the N train subway early Wednesday. Read more: Fox New York

Aqueduct Racetrack subway station A full-time stop, MTA says

Getting to the Aqueduct racino just got a little easier. Read more: NY1

Vacant lot near Queens Center Mall to get three chain restaurants

Let them eat crab. A vacant lot near Queens Center Mall that sparked a legal battle between the city and a developer will finally be occupied. Read more: New York Daily News

Man accused of killing wife, posting it on Facebook 

A South Florida man who authorities say fatally shot his wife – and apparently then posted a photo of her body on Facebook – has turned himself in to police. Read more: AP

Forest Park Carousel becomes official landmark


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Johann Hamilton

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.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High of 81. Breezy. Winds from the NW at 15 to 20 mph. Wednesday night: Overcast in the evening, then partly cloudy with a chance of rain. Low of 61. Winds from the North at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Monthly Jazz Jam at  Flushing Town Hall

Come and enjoy live jazz by some of the borough’s top artists. Flushing Town Hall presents its monthly jazz jam, featuring performances by professional jazz musicians, grad students studying jazz, musical educators and special guest artists the Pablo Mayor Quintet. The event is free and starts at 7 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Man fatally jumps in front of N train in Astoria

Severed limbs flew onto an Astoria street Tuesday evening after a man threw himself in front of a Queens-bound N train, witnesses and a police source said. Read more: The Queens Courier

New York City Council to take up ban on foam containers

A bill is expected to be introduced to the New York City Council Wednesday that bans the use of polystyrene foam foodservice in New York City. Read more: ABC New York

NYC Landmarks Commission hears pleas from Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, others to preserve historic Forest Park Carousel

Fans of the Forest Park Carousel got a chance Tuesday to plead their case that the beloved ride should be designated as a city landmark. Read more: New York Daily News

Queens couple get prison for sex trafficking

A Queens man and his girlfriend have been sentenced to prison for sex trafficking. Read more: AP

Many Queens homeowners face skyrocketing flood insurance premiums or major repairs to meet demands of new federal codes

Homeowners in the Sandy-wrecked Rockaways may be forced to abandon their homes or spend up to $100,000 to raise them on stilts, thanks to new codes issued by the federal government. Read more: New York Daily News

Across U.S., nearly half say government spying OK within limits: PollNearly half of all Americans say the U.S. government’s broad surveillance tactics are acceptable within limits, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll on Tuesday that also found widespread concern about the methods that were revealed last week. Read more: Reuters

Forest Park Carousel opens for season


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Anthony O’Reilly

BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

History is spinning again at Forest Park.

NY Carousel, the ride’s operator, flipped the switch for the 40-year-old Forest Park Carousel on March 23.

The attraction closed operations in 2008, but reopened last Memorial Day weekend after undergoing extreme renovations, according to Ami Abramson, one of the directors of NY Carousel.

“This year we’re excited to start it earlier,” Abramson said. “We updated everything and it was a lot of hard work.”

Abramson said in addition to cleaning up the hand-carved animals, the mechanics of the carousel were also worked on in preparation for this year’s riders.

“We intend this thing to work for many, many years,” Abramson said.

The current carousel originally opened in 1973, after the original one was completely destroyed in a 1966 fire.

Unseasonably cold weather didn’t stop local parents from bringing their children to be one of the first riders of 2013.

Jennifer Lambert of Woodhaven said she brought her daughter, Esmeralda, to the carousel many times last summer.

“The community here is really nice,” she said. “[Abramson] is learning everyone’s name from around here. He remembered Esmeralda.”

“We will be here all summer,” she added.

Adults riding for the first time this season felt nostalgic while on the ride with their children. Jennifer Dunbar, a resident of Kew Gardens, said the carousel brings back memories of her own childhood.

“For my childhood we either went to the beach or carnival,” she said. “It’s also a chance to experience a part of New York history.”

Dunbar said she plans to host her son Nico’s first birthday party at the carousel.

“This is great,” she said. “I know the kids are going to love it.”

The carousel will be open through October 27, according to forestparkcarousel.com. For information on hours of operation, visit the website or call 718-788-2676.

 

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Weekend events in Queens


| editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

Friday, August 17

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Both children and adults are invited to a fundraising event at the Forest Park Carousel to raise money for programs and services for those who have Alzheimer’s.

7 p.m. – 10 p.m., “Taxi Driver” at the Museum of the Moving Image: Martin Scorsese’s dark, dyspeptic view of New York, made all the more menacing by a brassy Bernard Herrmann score, is also a great visual love letter to the Big Apple.

7: 30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., Irish Movie Night at the New York Irish Center: “Eat the Peach,” Two young out-of-work Irish men are watching an old Elvis Presley movie in which a carnival cyclist performs an act called the Wall of Death. Transfixed, they decide to put together their own “Wall of Death.” The film is based on the true story of two brothers-in-law, frustrated by life in a small border town.

8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., Rufus King Park movie series presents “Knocked Up,” a Judd Apatow film about a one-night stand that results in an unexpected pregnancy for entertainment reporter Alison (Katherine Heigl), who vows to be a good mom and keep her career on track by trying to make things work with the slacker (Seth Rogen) who knocked her up.

8 p.m. – midnight, The Laughing Devil presents a showcase of the best comics that New York City has to offer, featuring a rotating cast with a healthy mix of celebrities and the next-big-thing.  Tonight’s show features Steve Hofstetter.

8:30 p.m., This outdoor movie series at Hudson River Park features family-oriented PG movies suitable for all ages. Tonight’s film will be “Back to the Future.” Free popcorn will be provided.

Saturday, August 18

7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Saturday is the last day of the fifth annual Summer Streets. About seven miles of New York City’s streets will be opened up for running, biking, walking and playing from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, along Park Avenue and connecting streets. There will also be activities and giveaways, including rock climbing and free bike helmets.

11 a.m. – 3 p.m., FlyNYC 2012: Come fly a kite at FlyNYC 2012, a kite festival in Riverside Park. There will also be kite making, live entertainment and other activities.

11 a.m. – 5 p.m., South Queens Park Association presents its second annual collectible car show at Roy Wilkins Park.

5 p.m. – 10 p.m., First Annual Rockaway Beach Club Crawl: Get to know your boardwalk concessions at Rockaway Beach.

8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., At the Alley Pond Environmental Center astronomer Mark Freilich will teach you all about the stars and the features of the moon with an outside viewing using a professional telescope.

10:30 p.m. – midnight, Playing with Reality’s Late-Night Sandbox Series: Three unplanned stories. three audience volunteers. one unforgettable show each month. Here’s your chance to step on stage with highly skilled inter-actors and become the star and co-creator of an entirely unscripted journey. Or, just sit back and enjoy. This one-of-a-kind sandbox is waiting for you. Fill your pail with enthusiasm, jump in and play.

Sunday, August 19

9 a.m. – 4 p.m., The 3rd Summer Craze Car Show & Blood Drive will have trophies, dash plaques, goody bags  and raffles.  All Donations will go directly to St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside.

1 p.m. – 7 p.m.Astoria Park Shore Fest: A Car-free celebration on Shore Boulevard adjacent to Astoria Park. It will include educational activities, live music, fitness programs and food-tastings with various neighborhood restaurants.

6 p.m. – midnight, Long Island City: Art, Graffiti, Infrastructure, and Sunset, One subway stop away from midtown Manhattan, Long Island City is undergoing its second makeover as its industrial landscape gives way to artists’ venues, the reuse of its daylight factory buildings, new condos and shorefront parks.

What to do with the kids this weekend


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

QUEENS

Friday, August 17

12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Take a whale and dolphin watching cruise, leaving from Riis Landing in Rockaway. Reservations required.

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Both children and adults are invited to a fundraising event at the Forest Park Carousel to raise money for programs and services for those who have Alzheimer’s.

Saturday, August 18

12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Learn all about crafts from the 1800s at the King Manor Museum. There will be a craftsman demonstration plus a tour of the house and a look at the museum’s historic craft collection.

12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., The Museum of the Moving Image is having a drop-in studio for young visitors, ages 7 and up.  Museum educators will teach participants all about movie-making technology and will help them make projects from flipbooks to stop-motion and computer animations and video games. Free with museum admission.

8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., At the Alley Pond Environmental Center astronomer Mark Freilich will teach you all about the stars and the features of the moon with an outside viewing using a professional telescope.

Saturday, August 18 & Sunday, August 19

11 a.m. – 4 p.m., At the New York Hall of Science’s Maker Weekend visitors can build a fort using cardboard, PVC pipes, fabric while collaborating with other museum-goers. Free with museum admission.

Sunday, August 19

1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., The Astoria Park Shore Fest ends this Sunday, and includes educational activities, live music, fitness programs and food-tastings with local restaurants.

 

AROUND NYC

Friday, August 17

8:30 p.m., This outdoor movie series at Hudson River Park features family-oriented PG movies suitable for all ages. Tonight’s film will be “Back to the Future.” Free popcorn will be provided.

Saturday, August 18

11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Come fly a kite at FlyNYC 2012, a kite festival in Riverside Park. There will also be kite making, live entertainment and other activities.

7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Saturday is the last day of the fifth annual Summer Streets. About seven miles of New York City’s streets will be opened up for running, biking, walking and playing from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, along Park Avenue and connecting streets. There will also be activities and giveaways, including rock climbing and free bike helmets.

Sunday, August 19

12:30 p.m. & 2:30 p.m., Sunday is the last day to see the Jungle Book at Puppetworks in Park Slope, Brooklyn. This marionette version of Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 fable is suggested for ages 4 and up.

1:00 p.m., Famous children’s group the Wiggles are performing this Sunday in Westbury, Long Island.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

EVENT of the DAY: Irish Music Concert in Sergeant Collins Park 

Visit Sergeant Collins Park for a concert of Spirited Irish Music with a Global Twist. Admission free, all welcome. Jigs, reels and more. Catch the Celtic Spirit! Fiddle-guitar duo Cady Finlayson & Vita Tanga with Tim Alworth on percussion.

[Click here for more info or submit your events]

State DOE slams Jamaica HS in report 

The New York State Department of Education is out with a scathing report on Jamaica High School. The report says two special education teachers are uncertified, there are no honors or SAT prep courses, and science and math classes have been cut. Read more: [NY1] 

Refurbished Forest Park Carousel enjoys a summer rebirth as crowds rediscover ‘jewel’  

The historic Forest Park Carousel, reopened after years of being shuttered, is rebuilding its audience this summer. It has hosted almost 15,000 rides since Memorial Day and long-time residents are rediscovering it every day. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Veteran sushi chef Taka Terashita sets up shop in the Rockaways

Taka Terashita rolls with the punches. When the chef lost his job in March, Terashita decided to take his sushi skills to the newest food frontier, Rockaway Beach. Surf Sushi in the Beach 96th St. concession area was the first location for Rockapulco Eats, a Daily News summer series that analyzes the deluge of finer food that has taken the boardwalk by storm. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

City Correction Department to battle Rikers Island violence with body scanners 

The latest in high-tech body scanners are not for passengers boarding an airplane. But for inmates locked up on Rikers Island and in other city correctional facilities– Prisoners who may try to sneak a blade or other weapons past correction officers. Read more: [NY1] 

Bad call by ex-pol 

In a move that was amazingly foolish and incredibly brazen, a former Queens lawmaker now under indictment on federal bribery charges called an FBI informant at the center of his corruption case — only minutes after he was released on $1 million bail — in a possible attempt to obstruct justice, stunned officials said yesterday. Read more: [New York Post] 

Finally! Forest Park Carousel reopens


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Forest Park Carousel

After nearly four years, children — and adults — were able to rush the Forest Park Carousel, choose their favorite horse and take a spin on the historic ride.

The Forest Park Carousel, shuttered since 2008, held its grand reopening on Saturday, May 26, with hundreds of visitors turning out for the sun-filled event.

More than a dozen were able to take the maiden voyage on the century-old merry-go-round.

Jeff Watkins of Woodhaven brought his son, Joshua, who was among the carousel’s first riders.

“It’s a lot of fun and a great reason to get out of the house,” Watkins said. “The park is beautiful.”

“I really liked the ride a lot,” added Joshua, 8. “It went fast.”

The carousel will be open each weekend from 11 a.m. until sunset through late June. After that, it will be open every day until Labor Day. Each Saturday the carousel will also feature clown shows.

Senator Joe Addabbo, who had a chance to hop on the carousel at a press event on May 24, said he was excited to bring his daughters, Alexis and Arianna, to the same ride he once visited with his father as a child.

“It brought back memories from when my father brought me,” he said. “It’s family memories, it’s community memories and just to see my kids smile and laugh, it beats shuttered doors and a closed carousel.”

NY Carousel, the ride’s operator, said it expects to add chairs and tables and open the food stand in the coming weeks.

Ed Wendell, who has advocated for reopening the carousel for years, twice visited the ride on its opening weekend.

“Just in that initial first couple of days, seeing a new generation coming in and having their first ride and having their first experience was wonderful,” said Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, of the more than 100-year-old ride.

“We’re just traveling through; the carousel will hopefully be here for a very long time.”

As the carousel turns: A history of the Forest Park Carousel


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Forest Park Carousel

When the Forest Park Carousel stopped spinning in 2008, it nevertheless continued its merry-go-round cycle that had become all too familiar over its history.

For decades, the carousel stood continuously in Forest Park as one of the many jewels of the 543-acre greenspace with locals and visitors flocking to the attraction each spring and summer.

“My cousin used to come from Brooklyn to take me to the carousel,” said Leonora Lavan, former president of the Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society, of the ride that only cost a nickel when she rode it in the 40s. “I had a favorite horse; I used to wait until it was free to get on.”

During the summers in the late 1940s, St. John’s journalism professor Frank Brady was the guardian of the famed merry-go-round. Brady operated the carousel, remembering the festive, carnival-like atmosphere.

“On a really nice Saturday or Sunday the place was packed. Sometimes we couldn’t even accommodate all the kids,” Brady, 78, remembered. “Every pony was taken.”

The carousel’s music, Johann Strauss waltzes, stuck with him through the decades, transporting him back to his days as operator.

“The music was always the big thing,” said Ed Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society.

The music stopped in late 1966 when a fire tore through the ride, leaving behind only ashes.

“The fire started at 8:40 p.m. and was fought by 67 firemen using 26 pieces of fire apparatus, according to the Fire Department, and totally destroyed the carousel,” reported a 1966 article in the Long Island Daily Press.

The article said the carousel had been “a landmark for 50 years,” though an exact date of its opening in the park could not be confirmed.

“After the carousel burnt down, I remember my father taking me up there and seeing the ashes,” Wendell recalled.

Six years passed with no carousel replacing the original.

A Daniel C. Muller-carved carousel that formerly spun at Lakeview Park in Dracut, Massachusetts was on sale in the early 1970s. For $30,000, according to a 1972 Daily News article, Forest Park got a new carousel.

“[The carousel] was in an interesting little park at the end of a dead-end road in nowhere Massachusetts,” said Roland Hopkins, editor of The Carousel News & Trader magazine, a monthly based in California for carousel enthusiasts.

“Muller was one of the special ones for sure; he had a distinct style,” Hopkins said. “He was a master of strong military horses — strong, but not intimidating.”

Only two of the master carver’s carousels remain in the country; Forest Park and the Midway Carousel in Sandusky, Ohio.

The park’s new carousel was built in 1903 and featured a menagerie of hand carved wooden animals.

Everyone was delighted when they brought a carousel back, Wendell said, but barely a decade passed before it again was shuttered.

It fell into disrepair after closing in 1985.

“It really hasn’t had a good history since they brought the new one in. It’s had a history of being neglected,” said Wendell, who also heads the Woodhaven Residents Block Association.

Mary Ann Carey, district manager of Community Board 9, and members of the board began to lobby for the piece of Queens history to be restored.

New operators were secured, the ride was restored and a new era was set to begin.

City dignitaries, including then-Mayor Ed Koch, attended the carousel’s 1989 grand re-opening.

Eager to enjoy the first trip on the carousel, the crowd rushed to get on.

It didn’t move.

“I guess it was the weight of all the people,” laughed Carey.

A minor tweak, and the carousel was up and running again after a four-year absence.

For the next two decades, the carousel ran with relatively few problems.

In 2008, New York One, the carousel vendor, did not renew its contract, setting off another stagnant era for the ride.

While the carousel has stood still, local officials and residents have worked behind the scenes to get the historic ride spinning again.

Facebook groups were started, T-shirts were sold and four Requests for Proposals were issued.

Good news was received in March when the Parks Department announced a new vendor was chosen and the ride would be ready by spring.

But as March and April passed, even the staunchest supporters thought another year would pass with no carousel.

Fears were erased when the Parks Department announced New York Carousel Entertainment would operate the carousel and the public would once again be able to enjoy the attraction beginning Memorial Day weekend.

“We hope now people are more appreciative. We’ve come close to losing it before,” said Wendell.

Even from across the country, carousel enthusiasts realize the attraction of the Forest Park ride.

“You guys have a nice machine there. I hope these guys pay attention,” said Hopkins. “It will be great to have it up and running; it’s a great machine.”

A new era will begin on Saturday, May 26 at 11 a.m.

The Forest Park Carousel rides again


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Forest Park Carousel

After nearly four years, children — and adults — were able to rush the Forest Park Carousel, choose their favorite horse and take a spin on the historic ride.

The Forest Park Carousel, shuttered since 2008, hosted St. John Evangelical Lutheran School students, politicians and civic leaders who fought to save the carousel to enjoy the first ride before it reopens to the public this weekend.

“It went real fast,” said Jason, 6. “It was a lot of fun.”

It wasn’t just the youngsters that enjoyed themselves.

Mary Ann Carey, district manager of Community Board 9, who had ridden the carousel as a child and fought to have it reopened in the late 80s hopped on board with the kids.

“It was great,” Carey said. “I enjoyed it very much. The children loved it.”

After years of civic groups campaigning, the Parks Department announced earlier this month that New York Carousel would operate and reopen the 109-year-old ride.

“When a community speaks out in one voice and they are heard and the result of their speaking out is seen, that’s a perfect snapshot of how government should work,” said Senator Joe Addabbo.

Addabbo added he is excited to bring his daughters, Alexis and Arianna, to the same ride he once visited with his father as a child.

“I cannot wait for this weekend to be here with my two girls and be standing beside them riding this carousel.”

The carousel will be open to the public on Saturday, May 26 at 11 a.m.

 

Forest Park Carousel gets new operator; will soon reopen


| brennison@queenscourier.com

12w

After three dormant years, the Forest Park Carousel will spin once again.

The Parks Department has selected an operator — New York Carousel Entertainment — for the famed ride.

Though final terms of the licensing agreement have not yet been finalized, the company has a work permit to begin cleaning and conducting necessary maintenance work at the sight, according to a Parks Department spokesperson.

In February, the department announced that the carousel would be ready for the spring or summer.

New York Carousel Entertainment will also operate the carousel in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

The ride has not been operated since 2009 when its vendor, New York One, did not renew its contract.

The carousel — built in 1903 — features figures carved by master sculptor Daniel Muller.

 

Forest Park Carousel will ride again in spring


| brennison@queenscourier.com

File Photo

With spring comes renewal and the Forest Park Carousel recently received news that it has been given new life by the city’s Parks Department.

After three years, the revived Forest Park Carousel is expected to be up and running by the spring or summer, according to a Parks Department spokesperson.

While the carousel has stood still, local officials and residents have worked behind the scenes to get the historic ride spinning again.

“We’re very happy to hear some long overdue good news. It’s very encouraging.” said Ed Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Resident’s Block Association, who has trumped up community support with “Save the Forest Park Carousel” T-shirts and a Facebook page with more than 1,150 likes.

The ride has not been operated since 2009 when its vendor, New York One, did not renew its contract.

A Request for Proposal for vendors — the fourth the Department issued — was announced in mid-December. All proposals had to be submitted by January 27. The Parks Department has yet to make a decision on a proposal, but plans to make an announcement in March.

Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley said she is “extremely pleased” that a new concessionaire will be operating the ride.

“With a proven vendor in place, I’m confident the carousel can once again become a great centerpiece and attraction for the park and neighborhood residents,” the councilmember said.

The carousel and the surrounding area of the park provides a tremendous opportunity for a new operator, Wendell believes.

“We’re anxious to hear the other plans the vendor has,” Wendell said. “It can become a real destination.”

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission is also currently in the process of reviewing the eligibility of the carousel as a New York City landmark, said an agency spokesperson.

“It’s so priceless,” Wendell said. “You’re not going to get hand-carved wood carousels anymore. When these [works of art] are gone they’re gone forever.”

The carousel — built in 1903 — features figures carved by master sculptor Daniel Muller.

“This is something special,” Wendell said. “We’ve spent a lot of time keeping it alive in people’s consciousness. Once that thing finally opens, it’s going to be a great feeling.”

One last spin for land marking Forest Park Carousel


| brennison@queenscourier.com

12w

Forest Park Carousel is getting one more spin at landmark status.

Area residents and leaders hope to have the historic local landmark officially recognized as one by the city’s Landmark Preservation Commission.

The carousel — which last spun in 2008 — is currently being reviewed by the commission to see whether it meets the eligibility for landmarking.

For the merry-go-round to be considered, it must have official historical or aesthetic interest or value as part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristics of the city, state or nation, as well as be at least 30 years old, said a spokesperson for the commission.

The carousel — built in 1903 and featuring figures carved by master sculptor Daniel Muller — passes the age criteria and many area residents would attest to its heritage and cultural importance.

“I think landmarking would be a fantastic way of preserving it,” said Ed Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Resident’s Block Association, who is pursuing the landmarking. “It’s part of our shared history. It’s part of our community.”

The fact that there are already two carousels landmarked in the city — the Central Park and Prospect Park carousels — has not escaped Wendell’s attention. Those Manhattan carousels are part of larger scenic landmarks, something Wendell feels Forest Park can qualify for, offering the George Seuffert, Sr. Bandshell, the greenhouse and carousel as just a few examples of the park’s historical significance.

The city’s landmarking commission gave no timetable for when a decision on the carousel’s eligibility will be determined. If the commission grants it is eligible, the carousel will then face a hearing and the proposal will go to a vote after which it will be reviewed by the city planning commission and city council.

“This is going to be a long process. Nothing moves fast in this city,” said Wendell, adding that despite not having a timetable, he is confident. “I think we have an excellent chance. Everyone would be happy about it. It’s got to happen.”

He attributed his positive feelings to the combined good will of the local residents. The Save the Forest Park Carousel Facebook page has over 1,100 likes. And those that want to wear their support for the carousel on their sleeve can still purchase “Save the Forest Park Carousel” T-shirts from the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association’s web site.

The carousel has not been operated since its vendor, New York One, did not renew its contract in 2008. Three requests for proposals (RFPs) have been issued since the carousel last operated and the Parks Department announced a fourth RFP on Tuesday, December 13. The Parks Department said it will conduct “extensive outreach” to find a suitable vendor.