Historic Central Park Carousel to spin again this fall under new management

The carousel is seen in Central Park, after the city severed several contracts with the Trump Organization in January 2021.

REUTERS / Brendan McDermid

After being dormant for more than 18 months due to a pandemic and political unrest, the historic Friedsam Memorial Carousel in Central Park will delight kids again, starting this fall.

The operators of Luna Park at Coney Island, Central Amusement International, announced that the Parks Department had awarded them a contract to reopen the historic amusement ride in the fall. The company will take over operations from the Trump Organization, which lost its city contracts earlier this year due to the former president’s role in the Jan.6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“We are delighted to be the new operators of the iconic Friedsam Memorial Carousel,” said Alessandro Zamperla, President and CEO of Central Amusement International. “We look forward to working closely with our community, NYC Parks, New York City and the Central Park Conservancy to ensure the continued enjoyment and preservation of this incredible New York City treasure.”

Central Amusement International previously operated Victorian Gardens, an amusement park that operated every spring and summer in Wollman Rink, which the Trump Organization also operated until this year. Victorian Gardens closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and likely won’t reopen – as the city has chosen new vendors to renovate the ice rink and operate on-site food and entertainment vending machines, according to Patch.

“The Friedsam Memorial Carousel is a work of art and one of the nation’s largest and most popular carousels – and thanks to Central Amusement International Inc., it will reopen this fall for New Yorkers and visitors alike to enjoy. take advantage of it, ”said the Acting Parks Commissioner. Marguerite Nelson. “We are pleased to have selected CAI through our competitive bidding process (Request for Proposals), and we look forward to working with them to operate this historic Central Park gem. “

Central Park has had a carousel since 1871, and the current merry-go-round dates from 1908 in the middle of the park, off 64th Street. An updated version was opened in 1951.

Designed by Solomon Stein and Harry Goldstein, the electronic merry-go-round features 57 hand-sculpted horses and two embellished chariots, as well as a mechanical organ playing classical marches, waltzes and polkas. It has been restored several times during its years of operation.

The carousel is named in honor of famous philanthropist Michael Friedsam.

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