With Restored Carousel, What Goes Around, Comes Around
Next summer, what goes around, will come around on Buffalo’s waterfront – as a carousel manufactured here nearly a century ago will debut following a lengthy restoration.
The Buffalo region was a hub for carousel manufacturing at the turn of the twentieth century. One of those made here by the Herschell-Spillman Carousel Factory in 1924 was operational for three decades in Massachusetts before spending another 60 years deteriorating in storage in Massachusetts and Ohio. A not-for-profit coalition – the Buffalo Heritage Carousel Inc. – purchased the carousel in 2016, brought it back home to Western New York and has been painstakingly restoring it in a local warehouse ever since just hundreds of feet from where the carousel rolled off the assembly line a century ago. It is one of the only examples in the United States of a century-old carousel returning to its point of origin to be restored. It’s been a labor of love for more than one dozen volunteers, who have collectively spent hundreds of hours repainting the animals and bringing them back to life.
The carousel will debut in July at Canalside, Buffalo’s redeveloped waterfront entertainment district that draws 1 million visitors annually. It will be housed in a solar powered enclosure, a nod to the region’s legacy of harnessing renewable energy that dates back to Nikola Tesla’s transmission of hydroelectric power from Niagara Falls to Buffalo in the late 19th century. Watch the video to find out how a coalition of restoration volunteers has gone to great lengths to bring one of Buffalo’s historic carousels back to life.