Jane’s Carousel is a sight to behold
Imagine a magnificent children’s carousel encased in a stunning contemporary glass pavilion designed by one of the world’s leading architects. Such a site not only exists…it’s a must see! Jane’s Carousel located in Dumbo’s Brooklyn Bridge Park on the East River opened to the public Friday. Twenty-four years in the making, it has been lovingly restored to its original splendor by local artist and Dumbo resident, Jane Walentas, and is enclosed with new ‘jewel-box’ pavilion designed by French architect Jean Nouvel.
To say the Jane’s Carousel is a labor of love is an understatement. The New Jersey native, who first set eyes on a Merry-Go-Round as a child growing up in nearby Palisades Park, has had a lifelong fascination with these popular amusement park attractions. So much so, that when her husband David, a local developer, was in the throws of developing the Brooklyn Bridge Park, Jane thought one might make a nice centerpiece there. She searched for years before locating a suitable candidate at auction in Indiana in 1984, a fire-damaged carousel dating to 1922 known officially as P.T. C. No. 61, after the Philadelphia Toboggan Company that made it. Jane worked tirelessly on the carousel, scraping off layers of paint to reveal its exquisite carvings and, with her husband David, spent $15m on its restoration, $9m of which went to constructing a year round enclosure.
Designed by Jean Nouvel, the pavilion is a 72’ x 72’ steel frame structure with fixed acrylic panels on the North and South facades and operable industrial-grade folding doors on the East and West. It incorporates four 70’ by 25’ recessed screens that will drop down after sunset, projecting illuminated mages of the carousel horses onto the pavilion’s transparent skin that will be visible from across the waterfront.
On Saturday morning of the opening weekend, it was standing room only at Jane’s Carousel. People came in droves to ogle the new attraction while families waited patiently in a long queue to get their kids on board.
Jane's Carousel will be open in Spring and Summer from 11am – 7pm (April 6 - November 5) and closed Tuesdays. Fall and Winter hours are 11am – 6pm Thursday - Sunday (November 6 - April 5)