Jane’s Carousel Earns Kudos From Travel & Leisure’s Design Awards

The March 2012 issue of “Travel and Leisure” magazine, which features its 2012 Design Awards, includes Brooklyn’s own Jane’s Carousel Pavilion, winning kudos for Best Public Space.

The wondrously recreated carousel in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn Bridge Park was designed and meticulously restored by Jane Walentas beginning in 1984. See pics and history at The Smoking Nun blog here.

Travel and Leisure writes: “In a completely unexpected pairing, a richly detailed carousel (1922) and a see-through minimalist shed (2011) jointly occupy a dramatic waterfront site in the shadow of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. The carousel is open to the public and after sunset, the pavilion’s acrylic walls are illuminated, creating a light show visible across the river and from the bridges above.”

If you haven’t yet visited, it’s a neighborhood must. One can “Pony Up” for $2 a ride. See Jane’s website for hours and more information. From now through April 5, the ride is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.

Share this Story:

, ,

  • David on Middagh

    It needs to be said: If T&L likes the space now, they should have seen it before the trees were cut down for a merry-go-round!

  • harumph

    So agree – While I like the design I do NOT like where it was sited – it destroyed such a beautiful vista and park. And honestly, when seeing it at night, especially from the Manhattan side – it becomes all about the lit glass box.

  • stuart

    This little pavilion is the most sophisticated thing built in Brooklyn in a hundred years. It is like something one expects to see in Manhattan or Paris or London.
    No wonder the old time Brooklynites are appalled.

  • David on Middagh

    Was that you I saw down there the other day, riding around and around and around?

  • stuart

    no. I was standing still, your head was going around and around.

  • David on Middagh

    I don’t know what possessed me…

  • stuart

    Let’s see, could it have been…….Satan????

  • Villager

    You don’t know this, but Dan Kaufman partnered with Walentas on the carousel renovation and getting it supplanted in the park.

    His love of wood carving and beautification of public spaces has been over-shadowed by his work as an award-winning chef and social networking entrepreneur.

  • GHB

    This carousel enclosure would have been a lot more attractive if they had gone with an old “crystal palace” look. Now it just looks like a box, Jean Nouvel notwithstanding

  • Sheila

    As a lover of old carousels, I do agree the enclosure is a little jarring. But the horses are magnificent!

  • harumph

    So if you don’t like this ‘sophisticated box’ (which, hello, has been DONE a bazillion times before, and better I might add) you fall into the category of old time Brooklynite? You are extremely short-sighted. I’m glad that Jane had her pet project of restoring the carousel – and I even like that it is now available to the public – but I’m not for destroying a gorgeous, well-used park to plant someone’s ego on (and yes, two egos here, the architects as well as Jane Walentas)

  • It Is What It Ain’t

    Although we all abhor the uncivilized developer Walentas who has never seen a square foot of real estate without a dollar sign, I have to say that the carousel is a masterpiece of renovation and does have a place in the park. Whether it needs to occupy its prime siting, not to mention plaster the megalomaniac Walentas’s name all over it, is another thing. In its current form, it is a monument to the greed and avarice of the egotistical Walentas. Am I wrong?

  • David on Middagh

    You are correct, as witnessed by the shiny Jane’s Carousel monument, visible here:


    and from space.

  • David on Middagh

    (Note the monogram.)

  • stuart

    the only jarring note on my last visit to the carousel (no, I did not ride) was the overwhelming smell of benzene or similar solvent. Later, I surmised it was coming from the paint removal work on the BB.
    Hideous. When will they ever finish building the Brooklyn Bridge?

  • Frank S

    The article references the light show after dark. But this aspect of the design has never worked. This leads me to believe the info came from an early press release from Walentas and not from any “expert” at the magazine actually viewing the structure. Typical.
    The thing is an ungainly eyesore, poorly sited, and a monument only to Walentas’ hubris and his wife’s sad need for validation as an “artist”.