For Immediate Release:
Buffalo Heritage Carousel, the City of Buffalo and ECHDC Announce Agreement to Provide Future Site for Historic Carousel at Canalside
The Buffalo Heritage Carousel Inc. (BHC), the City of Buffalo and Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) announce a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been reached between the three entities to provide a future location for the DeAngelis Carousel at Canalside. The vintage menagerie, park-style carousel was manufactured in 1924 by Spillman Engineering in North Tonawanda, NY.
“We are thrilled that it is now official that a parcel at Canalside will be the future home of our rare and historical Spillman Engineering Carousel,” said Laurie Hauer-LaDuca, President of Buffalo Heritage Carousel. “It was the critical missing component that was needed in order to finalize the acquisition of the historic De Angelis carousel and fully engage in our Capital Campaign that will allow us to bring it home to complement Canalside. The solar-powered carousel will provide a year-round family destination and another piece of Buffalo’s story that will promote historic tourism.”
The carousel, which includes 34 painted animals and three chariots has been in storage for 61 years and is now located at Carousel Works in Mansfield, Ohio. The Restoration is expected to take about 18 months.
“As we brace for another record setting year of attendance at Canalside, I’m pleased we are moving forward in bringing this vintage, park-style carousel to our city’s revitalized waterfront, allowing another significant investment that will surely help to attract even more families to this memorable destination,” said Mayor Byron Brown. “After committing to the transfer of the city owned lot to ECHDC, we worked closely to develop the Memorandum of Understanding to move this project forward. By making Canalside the new home to this historic carousel, we are offering families new ways to enjoy our waterfront, and providing an important link to Buffalo’s past and Canalside’s bright present and future.”
BHC plans to acquire the DeAngelis Carousel to provide family oriented recreation on Buffalo’s waterfront, thus celebrating our region’s industrial heritage and legacy of leadership in renewable energy. The goal is to enclose the wooden carousel in a building that would provide year-round access, protect it from the elements, provide space for events and activities, display the story of the custom-designed carousel and offer a gift shop.
“ECHDC is elated to create an opportunity to bring this rare Spillman Engineering Menagerie carousel to Canalside,” said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. “Both the carousel and the future Explore & More Children’s Museum will give even more families a reason to visit and enjoy additional time at Canalside. We feel the carousel compliments the other exciting developments at Canalside and brings us one step closer to Governor Cuomo’s pledge of creating a world class waterfront in the City of Buffalo.”
Under the provisions of the MOU, ECHDC intends to purchase the portion of property from the City that is bounded by Main Street, Perry Street and the Buffalo River for one dollar and then sublease to the BHC for an annual fee of one dollar, to provide a place to construct and operate the carousel project.
The Memorandum of Understanding agreed to by the parties requires BHC be solely responsible for the funding, acquisition, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the BHC Project while consulting and collaborating with the City and ECHDC throughout the process.
The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation in June 2015 agreed to pay $250,000 to buy the carousel with the understanding that the money would be released once a permanent home was identified.
The Trustees of the Foundation Wendt Foundation stated that they like the idea of having the carousel in close proximity to the future Explore and More Children’s Museum. By locating both of these unique attractions at Canalside we will be creating a magnet for families looking to enjoy the beautifully transformed waterfront of the Queen City.”
Assemblyman Sean Ryan, who secured $600,000 to restore the carousel, said “I was proud to secure significant state funding to make the Carousel at Canalside a reality. Today’s announcement by our partners in City and State government is a great step forward on the journey to bringing the historic Spillman carousel to Buffalo’s Canalside. The carousel was constructed right here in Western New York, and it is fitting that over 90 years later, the carousel will be returning home for new generations to enjoy. I would like to thank Buffalo Heritage Carousel Inc. for spearheading this project, and the Margaret L. Wendt foundation for providing critical financial support to the project, to allow the carousel purchase to move forward. Work will now begin to restore the historic carousel, which had been owned by the DeAngelis family of Middleboro, Massachusetts. The Carousel at Canalside will be a popular year-round attraction, and I am confident it will become a signature attraction along Buffalo’s continually growing waterfront.”
It is expected that BHC will complete its fundraising and begin construction of the BHC Project next year.