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Queens Chronicle

Forest Park Carousel may be landmarked

Century-old attraction on LPC’s radar

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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:42 am, Thu Jan 24, 2013.

The Forest Park Carousel, which reopened last year after three years out of service, may be spinning into a long future.

Now, the Landmarks Preservation Commission is eyeing the attraction for a potential landmark designation.

“We’re actively considering it as a potential landmark and are working closely with the Parks Department on a timeline for a public hearing,” said Lisi de Bourbon, the spokeswoman for the LPC.

The confirmation from the agency comes after a representative of Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) told Community Board 9 that the LPC said a landmark designation for the carousel was not on its agenda.

The LPC had said last summer that the carousel was on its list of potential landmarks and that it would schedule a public hearing on a proposal to give it landmark status in the fall, but that meeting was never held.

The carousel, which sits atop a hill just off Woodhaven Boulevard near the Seuffert Bandshell, was built in 1903 and came to Forest Park from Massachusetts in 1973 to replace an older merry-go-round that had burned down.

The ride was renovated in the 1980s and closed in 2009 after the previous operator’s contract with the Parks Department expired. The city sought a new operator for the carousel and the one in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and finally found one in 2011 — New York Carousel — which reopened the carousel in May 2012.

The company is planning on adding more rides and attractions to the area around the carousel next summer. New York Carousel did not respond to questions on the idea of landmarking the attraction before press time.

A tree fell onto the roof of the building housing the carousel during Hurricane Sandy in October, but the ride itself was not damaged in the storm.

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