When this carousel reopened after many years of neglect and through the efforts of State Senator Serphin Maltese, and our now-deceased elected representatives, former Assemblyman and Judge Frederick D. Schmidt and councilmen Arthur Katzman and Walter Ward, and community representatives, a concessionaire was found who repaired the calliope, and renovated the carousel area and added additional rides for the youngsters.
The Forest Park Carousel is truly “The Jewel of Forest Park,” as I named it at that time. In the years that followed of closing and disrepair, the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation continued to gain support for landmarking.
In this way, our “jewel” would never be closed or neglected and funds could be accessed for its maintenance, security and care and with this protection our beloved carousel will be saved once and for all.
After the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation’s correspondence through the years with the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the strong advocacy of Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, a hearing was held on June 11.
I then requested, through my articles and through an interview with Michael Perlman, emails and favorable letters and postcards be sent to the commission supporting landmarking. The outpouring of support and love was truly heartwarming.
I was copied on so many emails from all over the country stating warm childhood memories of our carousel. Many current letters from residents throughout Queens that appreciate the historic preservation were also sent. Support by letter or by voice from our elected officials expressed to the commission the importance of this designation.
At the hearing, I submitted my testimony by letter. There were four people testifying in person, Crowley, and representatives from the Historic Districts Council, Parks Department and the Society for the Architecture of the City, all in favor of landmarking.
On Tuesday, the LPC chair Robert Tierney voted in favor of the landmarking of our Forest Park Carousel. It is the culmination of many years of our hard work and tenacity. But it took all of you, the supporters, and your caring for this one-of-a-kind unique carved wooden treasure. A big thank you to you, our elected officials and especially Councilwoman Crowley.
On behalf of the future generations of our children of Woodhaven of Queens and New York City, we thank you all. We also thank the commission for saving our carousel once and for all, for perpetuity.
Our Woodhaven Business Improvement District will get an NYPD security camera funded by Councilman Eric Ulrich. This will add to the security of our vibrant Jamaica Avenue. This camera should be operational by this Christmas.
Our WBID participated in “Make Music New York” on Friday evening, June 21, with live music by Gold Echo at our Forest Parkway Plaza. It was an enjoyable evening.
Finally, in error a street tree was planted in the place of our Christmas tree in our plaza. It is thriving and will be transplanted and a Christmas tree planted in its place in September.
May God bless our leaders, may God bless our armed forces and our disabled veterans, and may God bless America.