QUEENS — Forest Park Carousel is now a New York City landmark.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously voted Tuesday to designate the carousel, originally carved in 1903, a New York City landmark.
"This is tremendous news,” said Ed Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Residents' Block Association, in a statement. “The Forest Park Carousel means so much to countless residents in Woodhaven and across the city. This designation is long overdue, but now that it's here, we're thrilled."
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who long advocated to give the carousel the designation, called the decision "a tremendous win for our community that once feared [the carousel] may never spin again."
"Preserving our history strengthens our neighborhoods, and today's decision by the LPC ensures this historic carousel, carved more than 100 years ago, will remain a beloved attraction in Forest Park for future generations," Crowley added.
The carousel has been in the park since the 1970s. The original Forest Park carousel burned down in 1966 and the current ride was moved to Queens in 1973 from Massachusetts.
“The Forest Park Carousel is more than just a children’s ride, it’s a work of art,” said Queens Borough President, Helen Marshall, in a statement. “Designating the Forest Park Carousel as a landmark will help preserve this unique and historic children’s ride for future generations.”
The historic ride was closed in the 1980s and fell into disrepair.
With landmark status, the carousel is now required to be kept in good shape. The Landmarks Preservation Commission will also have to approve any demolition, reconstruction or alteration that would impact the carousel.
But Ami Abramson, director of NY Carousel, said that he is confident that the designation won't interfere with his ability to maintain the carousel. "We are confident that we will be able to do what we need to do and accomplish what we need to accomplish to keep it running, keep it beautiful and keep it open," he said.
"We are proud to be managing this historical landmark," Abramson added. "It is a beautiful, magnificent carousel."