Jane’s Carousel is one of the most iconic carousels in the world, but few people know it’s crazy backstory. Prior to arriving at its new home in a $9 million glass box facing the Manhattan skyline, the carousel sat in Isadora Park in Youngstown, Ohio, where it was constructed in 1922. So how the hell did it end up in Brooklyn?
Well, Jane Walentas and her husband David Walentas were on the lookout for a carousel that could be included as part of David’s 1984 redesign of Brooklyn Bridge Park. They spotted the Isadora Park carousel when it was put up for auction following a catastrophic fire that took place during the same year. Jane fell in love with the carousel, which, unlike many of the other carousels up for auction, still had all of its original horses and artwork intact.
Over the course of the next 27 years, Jane spent $15 million dollars restoring each horse by hand to bring it back to its original 1920s glory. The design and construction of the unique glass box that protects it from the elements year round cost another $9 million and was designed by award-winning architect Jean Nouvel.
We recently brought our 360-degree camera rig to the famed carousel, so now you too can take a ride without having to dodge helicopter parents, nannies, or tourists that typically flock to the site.