Former Idora Park carousel picked as winner of Totally Awesome Awards

Staff report

Once the crowning jewel of Youngstown’s Idora Park, the 1922 carousel with 48 hand-carved wooden horses and two chariots that today is restored in Brooklyn Bridge Park has won an awesome award.

The merry-go-round has won the New York 2013 Red Tricycle’s Totally Awesome Awards.

It’s known now as Jane’s Carousel, and was selected over more than 20 other parks and attractions in the New York metropolitan area as the Most Awesome Parks and Playgrounds Winner.

Other top-10 finalists included Union Square Park and the Ancient Playground in Central Park, and 236,777 votes were submitted for the award.

“We’re all so very proud. Stop by and give your favorite horse a pat,” said Jane Walentas, owner of the carousel, in a news release.

Walentas, a New York-based artist, purchased the carousel at auction in October 1984, preventing it from being sold off piece by piece.

Walentas then spent the next two decades restoring the classic three-row Philadelphia Toboggan Co. carousel to its former glory — even hand-scraping away years upon years of paint to reveal the original color palette.

Jane’s Carousel opened to the public on Sept. 16, 2011, and is housed in a transparent box-like structure designed by French architect Jean Nouvel.

Last year, the Jane’s Carousel Pavilion was named as the Best Public Space by the Travel and Leisure website,

Last fall, the carousel survived Superstorm Sandy — albeit with some damage to its heating and ventilation systems, and its electronic controls — and reopened just two weeks later.

For more information about Jane’s Carousel, visit

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