Thursday, November 01, 2012

The Idora Park Carousel Barely Escapes Hurricane Sandy

The already bittersweet story of the last remaining gem from Youngstown's Idora Park came close to epic tragedy. After decades of decline, the park burned to the ground in 1984, with the last major remanant, an amazing carousel bought by the wife a wealthy NYC developer. Finally, fully restored and placed a few feet from the water's edge in a small park under The Brooklyn Bridge. From The Daily Beast
The 48 horses and four chariots that make up what’s now called Jane’s Carousel—after Walentas—brought delight to children at Idora Park in Youngstown, Ohio—then a prospering steel town—in 1922. After the city declined along with the steel industry in the 1970s, a fire consumed the park, but spared the historic carousel—in 1974, it became the first one ever listed on the National Register of Historic Places—which went up for auction in 1984.

The Walentases scooped up the bruised and battered carousel for $385,000, and it was shipped in parts to New York City in 1984, and the horses were stored for much of the next few years in individual stalls in the basement of David’s building at 45 Main Street.
Told by experts, the Carousel would be safe from a 100 year storm, Sandy a mere category 1 Hurricane almost washed it away.
There, in Brooklyn Bridge Park, on a three-foot high pavilion that usually stood 30 feet from the river’s edge, the waters whipped up by Hurricane Sandy were engulfing the carousel she had cared for over decades.
Check out the scary images.

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