Since opening last September, Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park has charmed countless New Yorkers and tourists with its old-fashioned fun and glimmering modern pavilion. Now the beautifully restored ride has won the hearts of the Travel and Leisure editors, nabbing the magazine’s 2012 Design Award for Best Public Space. The editors described the historic carousel and Jean Nouvel-designed pavilion as an “unexpected pairing.”
“In a completely unexpected pairing, a richly detailed carousel (1922) and a see-through minimalist shed (2011) jointly occupy a dramatic waterfront site in the shadow of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges,” writes Travel and Leisure. “The carousel is open to the public, and after sunset, the pavilion’s acrylic walls are illuminated, creating a light show visible across the river and from the bridges above.”
Artist Jane Walentas meticulously restored the carousel, chipping away 60 years of “park paint” by hand to bring the carousel back to its original glory and reveal the original wood carvings and colors. Everything, from the 48 horses’ highly decorative harnesses to the two chariots’ carved scenes, was repainted, and missing embellishments like jewels and small mirrors were replaced. The scenery panels, rounding boards, crests, center pole, and platform are all original to the carousel, each having been exquisitely restored by Jane.
The carousel and its glittering pavilion sit on the edge of the East River in the Fulton Ferry section of Brooklyn Bridge Park. You can ride the carousel for just $2, and you can learn more about it here.