New York City is home to many landmarks, from the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building to churches and theaters. Now, a 1910 carousel hidden away in Woodhaven Forest, Queens, has joined their ranks.
The Forest Park Carousel, featuring a colorful menagerie of 46 hand-carved horses, as well as a lion, tiger and deer, was unanimously declared a landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday.
The brightly-painted amusement ride features two tiers and three different rows of jumping animals, standing animals and chariots, and also has an ornate band organ manufactured by the A. Ruth & Sohn Organ Company in Waldkirch, Germany. It was created by celebrated Philadelphia carousel maker D.C. Muller & Brother and is one of only two D.C. Muller carousels left in the entire country — the other is the 1912 Midway Carousel in the Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio.
The Forest Park Carousel was originally made for Lakeview Park in Dracut, Mass., and was restored and moved to the 500-acre Forest Park in 1973. It has run into trouble with operators over the years but opened again to the public in 2012.
“Even when I was a young boy, I knew the carousel was special,” said Alex Blenkinsopp of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association. “The carousel is here to stay, and we couldn’t be happier.”
The Forest Park Carousel is the first in the city to get a landmark designation. It is one of six operating carousels in the city’s five boroughs, and one of three amusement rides to be named New York City landmarks: the other two are the Wonder Wheel and Cyclone in Coney Island.
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall praised the decision. “Designating the Forest Park Carousel as a landmark will help preserve this unique and historic children’s ride for future generations,” Marshall said.
The Forest Park Carousel will now indefinitely be required to be kept in good repair. The Commission will now also have to approve any alteration, reconstruction, demolition or new construction that would impact the Carousel.
“The Forest Park Carousel is more than just a children’s ride, it’s a work of art,” Marshall said.