Brooklyn’s iconic waterfront carousel celebrates its 100th anniversary

An iconic Brooklyn carousel celebrated its 100th anniversary on Saturday with a gala ceremony — and some mayoral “ridings.”

The journey, known as “Jane’s Carousel” is named after Jane Walentas, the late artist and wife of DUMBO developer David Walentas. She purchased the carousel in 1984 and spent over two decades restoring it to an exquisite standard.

Mayor Eric Adams, who was the keynote speaker, credited the ride with becoming a “cornerstone” in helping attract people to live, dine and enjoy Brooklyn and the rest of New York City.

“Jane started it all. Are you talking about a Field of Dreams? The field of dreams is here at DUMBO,” Adams said, before taking a ride on one of the carousel‘s 48 beautifully sculpted horses.

“She said if you built it they would come, and they got here and enjoyed [it].”

He also declared Saturday “Jane’s Carousel Day” in the Big Apple.

Christine and Marie, mother and daughter, celebrate the first annual Jane’s Carousel Day.
Gabrielle Holterman
David and Jed Walentas, Mike Duffy and Regina Meyers in front of the carousel
David and Jed Walentas, Mike Duffy and Regina Meyers pose with Mayor Adams; the Walentas family donated the carousel to the state.
Gabrielle Holterman

The Walentas family donated the carousel to the state as they were in the process of building what is now city-run Brooklyn Bridge Park, envisioning it as a future attraction for the park and DUMBO, where they own many properties.

The carousel is housed in a massive, illuminated glass pavilion designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel. It overlooks the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.

The carousel debuted in 2011 despite outcry from some local activists who were then furious that the park would lose existing trees and waterside lawn space to make room for it. However, the ride has become a big hit with tourists and New Yorkers alike, attracting around one million visitors a year.

Dad David Wu and son James celebrate the first annual Jane's Carousel Day.
Dad David Wu and son James are all smiles on Jane’s first annual Carousel Day.
Gabrielle Holterman
Mayor of New York, Eric Adams
Jane’s Carousel debuted in 2011 despite outcry from some local activists concerned about the natural landscape.
Gabrielle Holterman