The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) officially recognized the carousel as a city landmark for its historic, aesthetic and cultural significance to the community.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley joined dozens of local elected officials and Woodhaven residents to unveil the new commemorative plaque and to celebrate the carousel's place in the community for years to come.
“Today is a very special day,” Crowley said. “Not only for the entire Forest Park community, but it’s really a great day for the City of New York.”
The original carousel was destroyed by fire in 1966, and the current carousel was moved from its original home in Dracut, Massachusetts to Forest Park near Woodhaven Boulevard and Forest Park Drive in 1972.
“It took 25 years to designate it as a landmark, and by landmark time that’s pretty fast,” said LPC chair Robert Tierney said. “It’s just a pleasure to see it come to fruition, to make the designation and to then have this plaque to let everybody know how important it is historically.”
The three-row carousel is made with 36 wooden jumping horses, 13 standing horses, three menagerie animals, two chariots and is built with an A. Ruth and Sohn band organ.
State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. said he was happy to see the carousel would now be protected for future generations.
“At one point it was a place where I took my kids, and now that my children’s children can come here, it means something,” Addabbo said. “For many of you I know that these are childhood memories, and we are so grateful about standing here today.”
Also joining in the ceremony were Comptroller John Liu, Assemblyman Mike Miller, Melinda Katz, Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation executive director Maria Thomson, and Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association president Ed Wendell.
“About 100 years from now, people will gather to celebrate how this thing is 200 years old and the names of the people who are here today will be long forgotten,” Wendell said. “The children that are around will be the great-grandparents of the kids that will ride on this carousel.
“This is something that’s permanent and something that connects the residents of Woodhaven from one generation to another,” he said.