Long story made short. The owners of Seaside Park traded their antique carousel and a 0.75 acre parking lot to Seaside Heights to a few years back in exchange for 1.3 beachfront acres adjacent to the park to expand after Hurricane Sandy. The time is coming soon to dismantle and restore the carousel in a warehouse. The carousel will be re-assembled 4 blocks north of its current location for the 2020 season. However, $1.5Million is needed for the moving, restoration and assembly.
Seaside Heights is asking the state for a $1.5 million grant to build a permanent new home for a 109-year-old carousel that the borough acquired from the owners of the Casino Pier amusement park as part of a controversial land swap.
Meanwhile, borough officials have asked the park’s owners, the Storino family, to pull the plug on the wooden carousel this spring, once it’s done hosting any special events already booked at its current location inside an arcade on the upland-side of the boardwalk across from the amusement pier.
The carousel, a 1910 creation of the renowned German-born amusement artisan Charles Looff, will remain visible to the public inside the arcade until the fall, when the borough plans to disassemble and move it to a local warehouse for restoration work. Meanwhile, a new structure to house it will be built on a boardwalk lot four blocks north of the arcade, said Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz.
To fund the new structure, Vaz said the borough is seeking a $1.5 million Green Acres grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection, which has scheduled a hearing on the grant application for March 20.
If the grant is approved, and sufficient additional funds are raised to restore the carousel, officials hope to have it permanently relocated and operating by the 2020 summer season.
Last Wednesday, the Seaside Heights Borough Council authorized a request for proposals to move the century-old carousel from the arcade to its temporary warehouse space, Vaz said.
Moving a large carousel, particularly an older one, is a painstaking process that typically involves the careful dismantling and cataloguing of hand-carved, intricately painted exterior components and complex mechanical inner workings, said Todd Goings, president of Carousels and Carvings in Marion, Ohio, one of the few companies nationwide that do the work.
“In moving projects for a carousel of amusement park size, they have a lot of different elements,” Goings said in a phone interview. “They have all the decorative elements, which the public is familiar with — the horses, the chariots, the facades. But then you peel that down to the old, greasy parts.”
“A lot of notes get taken, to try and identify original factory numbering systems,” Goings said, adding that numbers can be obscured by layers of paint or grease.
“A lot of times, these carousels get moved around and they’re not necessarily put together in the correct order they’re supposed to be.”
The DEP has already been involved in the borough’s acquisition of the carousel, which was part of broader, complex deal that included the transfer of 1.3 acres of beach to the Storino family, which used it to replace an above-water portion of Casino Pier destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. To satisfy Green Acres rules requiring that the public be compensated for the loss of the beach property, Ocean County joined in the deal by setting aside 67 acres of county-owned wetlands in Toms River as open space.
And in one more element of the deal, the Storinos also gave the borough the .75-acre boardwalk lot where the carousel will be located.
Open space advocates and others joined in lawsuits seeking to block the carousel deal, but the legal challenges appeared to end in January, when the New Jersey State Supreme Court refused to hear the case following lower court and appellate rulings upholding the deal.
The Green Acres grant would not cover the cost of restoring the carousel, a separate expense that Vaz said will likely be paid for through private fundraising, possibly by a non-profit corporation staffed by volunteers eager to save the beloved local icon. He said restoration cost will not be known until the carousel is moved to its temporary storage area and assessed.
“I don’t expect it to be cheap,” said Vaz. “But I think there’s a lot of people out there who really want to roll up their sleeve to do that.”
As usual, my analysis is free of charge! Original enough to not steal someone else's quote as a signature
For what it's worth, was down there this past weekend, and literally zero of those new rides were open as of yet. Looked as if Centrifuge was still under construction, Mermaid Parade was mostly disassembled with parts strewn all over the pier, Elephant Express was assembled but covered and unoperated, and no sign of Crazy Cabs anywhere. The carousel still hasn't been moved from the arcade across the street, either, not even covered up... just a bungee cord around the gate to it with a "NO ENTRY" sign affixed to it.
The rides? Hydrus is really still stupidly fun, way more than it has any right to be for such a tiny and short rollercoaster. The ride ops were super infectiously happy and positive, and more than willing to let you stay on if nobody else was in line. My wife tried out the two coasters that my daughter was tall enough to ride on, and they got a number of rides together on Hot Tamales. Wifey was done with Pirate's Hideaway after the first ride though, the hairpin turns and harsh trims got the best of her and she wanted nothing to do with it after that. Big hit of the day for the kids ended up being the funhouse/obstacle course Pirate's Island, which they both managed to turn into their own personal American Ninja Warrior course, complete with them pretending that a rope net was actually the "warped wall" and hitting a pretend buzzer every time they got to the top of it. Aside from that, we had a lot of fun doing the other NYers-down-the-beach touristy bullsh*t, like boardwalk games, mini golf, and arcades before heading out to our hotel for the evening.
We came back on Sunday to check out their waterpark, Breakwater Beach, for the first time. Since there were some mildly strong winds in the 15-20 mph range, it wasn't too crowded for almost our entire stay. None of the major slides had any wait whatsoever. This might have the laziest lazy river ever, it felt like it took almost 15 minutes to complete a single lap (including several dead spots in the water where we had to paddle our way out). The kiddie play structure was one of the larger ones I've seen, and if I remember correctly, it had 10 slides branching off of it, but three of them (the bigger ones) ended up being closed due to staffing. My son has been dying to try a drop slide for ages, but when he climbed the tower and witnessed it in person, he made the tactical decision to take the non-drop tube slide down instead. I can't say I blame him... those drop slides still get me every time(but I like this style a lot more, the open air ones that don't try to suffocate and drown you once that trapdoor opens). My daughter was right on the edge of 42" in bare feet, and although the slide attendants were more than willing to give her a shot, she wasn't able to try out the Bulletbowl or Topsy-Turvy slides. Why? The double rafts they used for those two were larger than usual, and the handle placement meant she wasn't able to lay down and hold on at the same time. Although she was a little disappointed, being able to go on the Minuteman Express double raft slides was more than enough of a consolation prize for her.
Last but not least... when the hell did they put a Shake Shack on the Garden State? It was a surprise to see but pretty much everyone decided that was the place to eat on our way back to NY. Even more surprising they had a full menu, none of that selected items only BS that they have at CitiField.
That coaster dad  and that coaster kiddo .Road trip buddies for life. Dad's faves: Fury 325. Phantom's Revenge. Twisted Timbers. Intimidator 305. El Toro. Kiddo's faves: Talon. Alpengeist. Copperhead Strike. Twisted Timbers. Fury 325.
coneyislandchris wrote:Last but not least... when the hell did they put a Shake Shack on the Garden State? It was a surprise to see but pretty much everyone decided that was the place to eat on our way back to NY. Even more surprising they had a full menu, none of that selected items only BS that they have at CitiField.
There's one in Harrison too, by the PATH station. They're making their way South.
Has anyone figured out if Centrifuge is going to be a real Scrambler or a Sizzler? IMO a Scrambler running at it's full speed of 11 rpm is much more fun than a Sizzler running at full speed, the problem is some parks don't run their scramblers at full speed.
The Knoebels flyers are the greatest thrill ride ever made. If anyone sees Harry at the park can you tell him I'm sorry for breaking his ride and getting him in trouble.
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