Ever been to Jane’s Carousel in Dumbo? An incredible new addition to Brooklyn Bridge Park, it is a vintage Carousel from 1922 positioned right on the waterfront and has jaw-dropping views like this of Manhattan and the bridges…
I like the story behind it, because it is one of persistence. An artist named Jane Walentas (wife of David Walentas, the real estate developer who created Dumbo as you know it today) spent more than 25 years bringing this Carousel to life.
It was a true passion project, and took an insane amount of work because when Jane and David purchased it at auction in 1984, the Carousel was a total wreck. They made hundreds of necessary carpentry repairs, and began the time-consuming process of hand-scraping away 62 years of “Park Paint” with a razor blade to reveal the original 1922 carvings, color palette, and designs. The horses were rendered in faithful detail based on historical photographs.
Missing embellishments such as faceted jewels, small beveled mirrors on the bridles, and delicate pinstriping were restored. Blackened varnish was removed from original paintings to reveal their true colors. Mechanical systems were updated with new gears, motor and an electronic controller. Totally rewired, the Carousel now dazzles visitors with 1200 brilliant lights. When finished in 2011, it was finally housed in an appropriately gorgeous glass and steel pavilion designed by the incredible Jean Nouveau.
And not surprisingly, the finished product is pretty damn amazing. Eve went completely bananas over it… Go, you won’t be disappointed!