Jane’s Carousel, a relatively recent addition to Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, was purchased at auction by David and Jane Walentas in 1984 (the family has been the main real estate developer in DUMBO for over 30 years) and thereafter worked to rehabilitate it, replacing and repainting several decorative elements such as scenery panels, beveled mirrors and completely rebuilding the mechanical system and installing over 1200 lights. It’s also one of the few carousels enclosed in an air conditioned space, though the doors were opened on this occasion.
The carousel was originally built in Youngstown, OH in 1922 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company (a toboggan being a large, horse-drawn sled); the PTC logo is embedded in metal letters on the sidewalk outside the carousel. Recorded traditional carousel pipe organ music accompanies the bobbing horses going up and down. It opened to the public on September 16, 2011 after a trial run in a nearby Water Street building.
Photo: Robert Mulero