1910 Queens carousel declared a landmark

A 1910 carousel hidden away in the woods in Woodhaven, Queens, has attained landmark status.

The Forest Park Carousel, featuring a colorful menagerie of 46 hand-carved horses, as well as a lion, tiger and deer, was unanimously declared a landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission yesterday.

Commission chairman Robert Tierney said that the carousel had special character and is "beautifully created." It features two tiers and three different rows of animals and chariots, and also has an ornate band organ manufactured by the A. Ruth & Sohn Organ Co. in Waldkirch, Germany. It was created by celebrated Philadelphia carousel maker D.C. Muller & Brother and is one of only two D.C. Muller carousels left in the entire country -- the other is at the Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio.

The Forest Park Carousel was originally made for Lakeview Park in Dracut, Mass., and was restored and moved to the 500-acre Forest Park in 1973. It has run into trouble with operators over the years but opened again to the public last year.

"Even when I was a young boy, I knew the carousel was special," said Alex Blenkinsopp, communications director for the Woodhaven Residents' Block Association.

The carousel is one of six operating in the city's five boroughs, and one of three amusement rides to be named city landmarks: the other two are the Wonder Wheel and Cyclone in Coney Island.