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Queens Chronicle

Forest Park Carousel gets historic hearing

A key step in landmarking process

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Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:03 am, Thu Jun 20, 2013.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission held a hearing on Tuesday on the proposed landmarking of the Forest Park Carousel, an important step in the process to landmark the century-old attraction.

At the hearing, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) urged the commission to adopt landmark status.

“Preserving our history strengthens and enriches the character of our communities,” said Crowley. “The significance of the Muller horses, which were carved more than 100 years ago, is without question, and the carousel has been a centerpiece of Forest Park for 40 years. I strongly believe that landmarking the carousel will increase visitors and ensure it remains preserved and operational for future generations.”

LPC spokeswoman Lisi de Bourbon said four people testified: Crowley and representatives from the Historic Districts Council, the Parks Department and the Society for the Architecture of the City. All were in favor of landmarking.

At Tuesday’s Community Board 9 meeting, Maria Thomson, executive director of the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation, who has advocated the carousel’s landmarking, welcomed the news.

“That is wonderful,” she said. “Just wonderful. It’s nice to have some good news.”

The commission will hold a final vote on the proposal on June 25.

The carousel’s horses were carved in 1903 in Massachusetts and the carousel was moved to Forest Park in 1973 to replace one that was completely destroyed by fire seven years earlier. It was renovated in the late 1980s. The carousel reopened last summer after being closed for three years when the previous operator’s contract with the city lapsed.

Ami Abramson, president of New York Carousel, the ride’s current operator, was unsure about landmark status last month.

“I believe landmarking is good for operations and for us in serving the community. But we want to know if it will inhibit us from investing money and labor in the carousel,” he said in May.

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