1922 Ohio carousel in Brooklyn besieged by Sandy

Jane’s Carousel, the 1922 Philadelphia Toboggan Company carousel which once delighted the crowds at Idora Park in Youngstown, Ohio, which was lavishly restored and returned to duty last year in Brooklyn Bridge Park on the banks of the East River, looked like this last night around 9:35 PM:

Jane's Carousel, October 29th, 2012

The picturesque location right on the river between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge (a neighborhood known as DUMBO) which makes for such a lovely view while riding the ornate gilded horses is not so advantageous when confronted with Hurricane Sandy and her record-breaking 13-foot storm surge. It’s amazing that the lights were still on even as the promontory was turned into an island by the flooding waters.

Although there are no official reports from the carousel website or Facebook account, Gothamist went to check this morning and aside from a few shallow puddles inside the jewel box, the carousel appears to have survived its near-drowning unscathed. There are some overturned trashcans inside and you can see the concrete floor inside the short plexiglass barrier is wet, but it doesn’t look like it reached the wooden platform on which the horses turn. That single row of sandbags around the perimeter of the structure deserves a medal.

Jane's Carousel the morning after Inside Jane's Carousel after Sandy Jane's Carousel after Sandy, trash cans overturned Jane'ss Carousel's heroic sandbags

Architect Jean Nouvel designed the acrylic jewel box pavilion so that it would give people riding the carousel a beautiful view and so that the beauty of the carousel itself would make a spectacular landmark for the neighborhood. Obviously he designed it to be strong and secure as well.

8 thoughts on “1922 Ohio carousel in Brooklyn besieged by Sandy

  1. An acrylic jewel box pavilion – what a perfect descrption :yes:

    Apart from giving the children a nice view out when they were on the horses, did the acrylic walls protect the children from the weather in winter? Not during a hurricane of course; just ordinary rain.

    1. They certainly did. It’s an ingenious construction because it provides so much protection for the 90-year-old carousel and for its riders while still giving the sensation of an outdoor attraction.

  2. So, it’s “a lovely view while riding the ornate gilded horses”? That sounds like the voice of personal experience to me! Not being a hero, I peered through the glass on Sunday morning (avant le déluge)in the course of my farewell Brooklyn Bridge crawl, then caught the last cheapo bus out of NYC back to Washington (where we only got semi-whacked by Sandy…such a wimpy name). The most amazing aspect of the lead photo is that the lights were still on, notwithstanding…

    1. I wish it were the voice of personal experience. Instead it’s just the voice of pictures and videos. Did you have a chance to take a spin around and around and up and down before Sandy loomed?

  3. I rode that carousel as a kid. The steel mills would have Idora Days where the kids of the steelworkers got to ride on a “free” pass. Most of the old ride parks are gone from our area now.

    1. As are the steel mills. We’re fortunate that one eccentric rich couple were willing to buy the entire carousel and then spend decades restoring it. So many of the beautiful vintage pieces from the lost parks of the devastated manufacturing belt were either destroyed or sold one horse at a time.

      Do you think you might have the opportunity to go to New York and ride the Idora carousel one more time? I’m sure it would be an exhilarating and moving experience.

  4. There are still a number of mills running in our area, mostly sheet and pipe mills. The electric arc has displaced the blast method for the most part but they still melt a lot of steel in Ohio. What makes people think that the mills are gone is the fact that they can run them with so few people today. I started in a sheet mill in 1978 that employed about 800 at the time. Today the same mill has 150 men and puts out twice the tonnage with a much better product. That said: they closed a big iron house in Warren this past summer-it was making good money but other parts of the company were not so it’s gone.

    As to a trip to New York-I’ve thought about going by train, one of those bucket list things.

    If you are ever driving past Youngstown, stop at the Steel Museum, it is well worth the $5 it costs to get in. It takes about two hours time to go through it, if you do not watch all of the vintage video.

  5. Hello
    I’d like permission to use this photograph for a Brooklyn Bridge project I’m working on. Happy to provide credit and or links.

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