by Lucy Foster

digonis carousel central park  Nestled in Central Park, tucked away from modern elements, and housed within a brick enclosure there stands a magical ride that awaits your visit. This historical landmark is the Central Park Carousel that dates back to its first ancestor carousel built in 1871. The current carousel was restored and brought by way of Coney Island in 1951 and is the fourth to stand in its present location. It was the carousel attraction from 1908 to the early 1940’s at Coney Island before becoming the replacement for the previous Central Park carousel that was destroyed by a fire in 1951.  
  The current 58 huge hand-carved and hand painted horses were built in 1908 by Solomon Stein and Harry Goldstein. This old-fashioned attraction is open year-round and is the only operating carousel in the borough of Manhattan. It is also one of the largest carousels in the United States. This antique joyride can also be rented for birthday parties and includes the setting of the picnic tables that are just nearby. Hotdog and popcorn vendors are frequently setup further enhancing the mood of this landmark. This magical ride is sure to delight the imaginations of its visitors as they take a spin around on this timeless masterpiece.

Photo: Caroline P. Digonis 2006