Posted January 3, 2014 at 9:34 AM by Amanda Frentz
Facts about the Carousel in New Orleans City Park:
The Carousel has had a few owners in its history including Harry Batt, Sr. Locals may remember Mr. Batt from another local landmark, Pontchartrain Beach. In the late 1980's, William B. Hines loaned Friends of City Park $300,000 to purchase the Carousel from Harry Batt and an additional $50,000 to renovate the Carousel. (Eventually, Mr. Hines forgave all loans. The William B. Hines Carousel Gardens Amusement Park is named for him).
The animals were carved and hand painted by Charles Looff and Charles Carmel. -The Looff animal figures contain faux gem stones and are the older of the two types of animals (older than the Carmel animals). -The animals are loved so much by visitors they need repainting every year to 2 years. They are still hand painted.
The Carousel contains fifty-four animals. 53 are horses plus a lion, giraffe, and camel. There are also 2 chariots for a more stationary ride.
The horses have real horse-hair tails. -Thirty of the horses move up and down and are called ‘flyers’ (thus the Flying Horses nickname). -The Carousel still uses the original motor. -The circular platform on which the animals ‘ride’ is suspended off the ground by 40 metal rods. -The lion weighs 500 lbs. -A few movies have been shot in the Carousel. (To get the inside scoop on the latest movie to film in the Carousel, and to get details on how a horse was damaged, click on the link attached to the word Carousel). -The Carousel is only one of 100 hand-carved carousels remaining in the United States and the only one in Louisiana.