Friday, October 7, 2011

Forest Park carousel won't spin anytime soon

From the Queens Chronicle:

Nobody will be taking a spin on the Forest Park carousel any time soon, the city Parks Department acknowledged this week.

Despite the city’s most recent attempt to find an operator for the ride, it found no company suitable to care for the merry-go-round that was built in 1903 and has some of the last surviving creations of master wood carver Daniel Carl Muller — including 49 sculpted horses, a lion, a tiger, a deer and two chariots. There is also a carousel band organ.

“No viable proposals were received by Parks for the most recent [request for proposal] for the Forest Park carousel,” Trish Bertuccio, senior press officer for the Parks Department, wrote in an email. “However, Parks intends to re-release the RFP and will conduct extensive outreach to find a suitable proposer.”

One of only five carousels in the city, the Forest Park ride was operated by New York One until 2008, when the company let its contract lapse. The city has since issued three RFPs, with the final one going out in mid-April.

No one submitted proposals for the city’s first two RFPs, though officials said they did receive answers to applications after the most recent one.

Bertuccio said Parks does not have a set date for when it will release a fourth RFP.


Anonymous said...

I assume they have spoken to the operator of the one in Central Park.

Is there some reason why it must be a private operator?

Why not have the City set up it's own concession, hire the necessary personnel and run it at-cost.

It's probably not going to generate enough profit for a private interest...Especially when insurance is factored in.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Its OK, the yuppies in Dumbo are enjoying their brand new carousel encased in a glass starchitect box. The peasants out in queens don't deserve such amenities.

Anonymous said...

Anon, the DUMBO carousel is a privately-owned antique, and the city is very, very fortunate to have the private support necessary to see it operate. The Parks Department has nothing to do with that machine, unlike the Forest Park carousel.

Don't get me wrong, the Forest Park machine is a genuine American treasure - I'm grateful to have been able to visit and ride while it was operating. But this issue has nothing to do with DUMBO being a "hot spot" - their carousel belongs to Jane Walentas, who restored the thing entirely in that neighborhood. No real comparison.

Anonymous said...

Here's a better article from the Daily News that answers some questions.

The operator for the Central Park carousel is Donald Trump.

The Chronicle says there were "no viable proposals" received for Forest Park. However, there was one rejected proposal - from the former operator, New York One. They also currently operate the carousel at Flushing Meadows, but it appears the City is not going to renew its contract for next year.