|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Wednesday, October 18, 2017
|An old carousel's by the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the happiest little spots in New York City|
Jane's Carousel is shown in Brooklyn, N.Y. The carousel, built in 1922 by the Philadelphia Toboggan company of Germantown, Penn., was originally installed in Idora Park in Youngstown, Ohio. Jane's Carousel is now located on the Brooklyn waterfront between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan.
By: Meghan Barr, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP).- In the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, strains of old-fashioned music from an organ float over the river, mingling with the sound of children's laughter. It's coming from one of the happiest little spots in New York City: Jane's Carousel, a twinkling antique jewel that spins in a see-through pavilion on the banks of the East River.
One afternoon in early autumn, just about everybody seemed enthralled by the rise and fall of the 48 hand-carved wooden horses as they rode in circles over and over in Brooklyn Bridge Park. It was mostly young children emerging from naptime with their mothers, but even some hipsters in skinny jeans and Ray-Ban Wayfarers decided to stop and take a ride, hanging their heads back and grinning as they went.
"I think the lights, the music, the horses, it just brings out joy in everybody," says Jane Walentas, the artist who spent years restoring the carousel to its original splendor.
Jane's Carousel is the latest attraction to hit DUMBO, an offbeat waterfront neighborhood that is slowly evolving from a deserted manufacturing zone to an upscale hipster hangout with art galleries, boutiques and million-dollar condos. DUMBO stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, and the carousel is located right between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, which span the river and connect the two New York City boroughs. The carousel is housed in a clear acrylic pavilion, designed by the architect Jean Nouvel, and it offers stunning and weatherproof views of the bridges, the water and Manhattan across the way.
But Jane's Carousel is no native New Yorker. It was built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1922, and for much of the 20th century, it stood in Idora Park, a popular spot in Youngstown, Ohio, then a prosperous city of steel mills. In 1975, it became the first carousel ever listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Youngstown fell on hard times with the decline of the steel industry in the 1970s, and after Idora Park was wrecked in a fire, the carousel went up for auction in 1984.
At the time, Jane Walentas' husband, real estate developer David Walentas, had been commissioned to develop the land that eventually became Brooklyn Bridge Park, and he'd asked his wife to help him find a carousel to install there. The Idora Park carousel was on the verge of being sold off piecemeal when the couple placed a $385,000 bid to buy the whole thing.
"We didn't think we had a chance at it, because there was a very well-known developer in Youngstown who we assumed was going to buy it and save it for them," Jane Walentas recalled. "That didn't happen."
Lynn Kirkwood, 60, who grew up in Youngstown, still remembers the cheering when locals learned that the carousel would survive intact. She is among the countless people from Ohio who have thanked Jane in letters, phone calls, emails for saving the carousel from destruction.
"A lot has changed in Youngstown. It's never gonna be the town that I grew up in anymore," Kirkwood says. "But to have that carousel somewhere and still in existence? It's just like a dream come true."
Walentas gets choked up when she talks about the people from Youngstown who have come by the busload just to see the restored carousel since it opened in September.
"It really shaped their lives," she says. "You know they had their birthday parties on the carousel, they got engaged on the carousel, their first date."
Walentas spent nearly 25 years working on the carousel, scraping off layers of paint with a knife to reveal the original paint and beautiful carvings. Along with a team of six people, Walentas rewired the carousel with 1,200 lights, cut new mirrors for the horses' bridles and replaced the jewels embedded throughout it.
"The paint was so fragile and broken," she said. "And there were a lot of carpentry repairs that needed to be made."
The carousel then sat unused for another four years in a DUMBO gallery, visible through a window from the street, while Brooklyn Bridge Park was completed, the agreement to install the carousel was finalized, and the carousel pavilion was designed and built.
In the month since it opened, the carousel has already become a welcome addition to the neighborhood's draws for tourists, which include Jacques Torres' chocolate shop at 66 Water St. and a stone marker on the pier where George Washington and his troops fled by boat to Manhattan after the disastrous Battle of Brooklyn in 1776. At night, the carousel runs a light show every hour, projecting the dancing shadows of horses onto the walls and ceiling of the pavilion. The lights can be seen from across the river.
Craig Whitney, 68, was admiring the carousel with his wife as they basked in the sun on a nearby bench, taking in the tranquil scene.
"It's been so perfectly restored. And in this setting, it's just magnificent," he said. "It's got sort of a hurdy-gurdy organ in it. That's something that was made a hundred years ago, and people still like to hear the sound. I think there's a romantic appeal to things like this from the past that make you feel good."
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.
October 18, 2011
Pedro Ramirez Vazquez
Alberto Giacometti, a retrospective exhibition opens at the Museo Picasso in Malaga
Renoir's Le Bouquet expected to bring $500,000 in Heritage Auctions' American & European Fine Art event
Van Gogh did not kill himself, he was murdered, claims new book;museum unconvinced
Sotheby's in London to offer exceptional fine Chinese ceramics and works of art
Christie's in London announces sale of early Paul McCartney letter offering drummer tryout
Restored citadel, dating back to the days of Alexander the Great, is symbol of hope in Afghanistan
The most important pair of Russian vases to appear on the market this Autumn
New York City High Line inspires Philadelphia to redevelop Reading Viaduct
Antik A.S. to offer an exceptional auction of modern and contemporary Turkish art
An old carousel's by the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the happiest little spots in New York City
Sotheby's to sell the first-ever work to come to auction by the greatest artist who never lived: Nat Tate
Art historian Philipp Demandt becomes new head of the Old National Gallery in Berlin
"The Mayor" an everyday office photographed by Dana Lixenberg at the Rijksmuseum
South African 'Struggle Art' on display alongside works for auction by leading SA artists
Tiancheng International presents a special theme sale on modern and contemporary Asian art
Important Silver and Objects of Vertu to be sold at Christie's October 21
'The Study of Kabakov' exhibition opens at Edelman Arts
Oklahoma Capitol crumbles with no repair money
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- $37.7 million bowl sets Chinese ceramic auction record at Sotheby's Hong Kong
2.- Major new show at Picasso Museum focuses on pivotal year in Picasso's life and work
3.- 63 Dutch Masters return home to Holland for an exhibition at the Hermitage Amsterdam
4.- Exhibition reveals new insights into Renoir's celebrated "Luncheon of the Boating Party"
5.- Nazi-looted Pissarro painting at centre of legal tussle
6.- The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art presents 'Lines of Inquiry: Learning from Rembrandt's Etchings'
7.- Pristine Hermès Himalayan Gris Cendre Birkin bag sells for $112,500 at Heritage Auctions
8.- Tom Petty, heartland rocker with dark streak, dead at 66
9.- Exhibition presenting the art of Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dalí opens in London
10.- Private collectors using online appraisal platform to get multiple estimates from top auction houses
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.