Jane’s Carousel was created in 1922, the heyday of the American Carousel, by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. It was originally installed in Idora Park in Youngstown, Ohio, then a prosperous steel-making city. It is a classic three-row machine with 48 exquisitely carved horses and two chariots. The wood carvings, often attributed to John Zalar and Frank Carretta, are among the finest of their kind.
In 1983, Jane Walentas and her husband purchased the dilapidated carousel at auction and she began the restoration process. Her initial tasks included 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. Mechanical systems were updated with new gears, motor and an electronic controller. Totally rewired, the carousel now dazzles with 1200 brilliant lights, and has been fully restored back to its original elegance.
Jane’s Carousel will open to the public on Friday, Sept. 16 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn, where it is magically set on the East River, between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. Jane’s Carousel will delight children, as well as visitors from around the world, for many generations to come. For more, visit www.janescarousel.com.