Another exciting project is officially underway at Canalside. A groundbreaking was just held for the solar powered Buffalo Heritage Carousel, a project that joins myriad other recent nearby undertakings including the Explore & More Children’s Museum (now complete), and the Longshed Building (currently underway). Efforts to bring the Buffalo Heritage Carousel project to fruition have been progressing for years. There were numerous critical stages that brought this particular project to fruition, from locating the historic century-old De Angelis Menagerie Carousel, to the restoration of the components, to finding a location at Canalside, to housing the structure. Due to all of these stages, numerous sources of funding were required, all of which came from an assemblage of sources.
In order to make this project happen, the City of Buffalo sold the property in question (near the corner of Prime and Perry streets) to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation for 1 dollar. Sources of funding to bring the entire project to fruition include: Governor Cuomo, KeyBank and the First Niagara Foundation, The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, Senator Chris Jacobs, Assemblyman Sean Ryan, Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Commission, The Russell J. Salvatore Foundation, Wegmans, and West Herr.
“The Carousel project celebrates both Buffalo’s industrial history and our ongoing work to revive Buffalo’s Waterfront,” Governor Cuomo said. “With the community’s support, New York will continue to invest in projects like this that are transforming the city’s burgeoning waterfront into a central hub for residents and visitors alike to enjoy for generations to come.”
“Today we celebrate the incredible journey of the De Angelis Carousel, and its new home at Canalside,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “The carousel that was built right here in Western New York will soon be returning home nearly a century later and will be enjoyed by children for generations to come. It’s part of the continuing transformation of Buffalo’s waterfront that is drawing praise from visitors and publications from around the world. The Buffalo Heritage Carousel will be a star attraction on our waterfront – a key part of future growth and the emerging Canalside neighborhood.”
The Buffalo Heritage Carousel artists continue to work on the meticulous restoration of the carousel pieces while raising funds to build, operate, and maintain the carousel.
ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia said, “The carousel will be unveiled next summer, adding to Canalside’s colorful history. This project is part of Governor Cuomo’s overall vision for activating Buffalo’s waterfront and will complement the recently opened Explore & More Children’s Museum and the Longshed project, which will be completed next year.”
Board President of Buffalo Heritage Carousel, Inc. Laurie Hauer-LaDuca said, “We are excited that construction of the carousel’s new home is starting this fall so that our authentically restored wood park menagerie carousel can make its much-anticipated debut in the summer of 2020. This rare and historic Spillman carousel will be powered by the sun, demonstrating the use of renewable energy and will be the newest family recreational and educational destination at Canalside. This classic attraction offers a gathering place for the community and for families to share memorable moments as well as bolstering Buffalo Heritage Tourism.”
The vintage menagerie, park-style carousel was manufactured in 1924 by Spillman Engineering in North Tonawanda for Dominick De Angelis.
NYPA chairman and Buffalo resident John R. Koelmel said, “The significant NYPA support toward this project is a demonstration of the Power Authority’s commitment to be a good neighbor in Western New York. The restored carousel will be a wonderful attraction for local residents and tourists alike.”
Senator Chris Jacobs said, “I was so confident that the Buffalo Heritage Carousel project was the ideal family-friendly addition to Canalside attractions that I fought for and secured $500,000 in state funding to support the project. Today’s groundbreaking is an exciting next step towards the completion of a project that will add great value on our waterfront for generations to come.”
Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, “As the carousel nears completion it’s become clear that this project has exceeded even our highest expectations. The beautiful restoration work that has been done on this historic carousel will draw visitors from all over to Canalside for years to come. I’m proud to have joined Governor Cuomo and Buffalo Heritage Carousel Inc, as a leader on this project and I thank the community for the excitement they’ve shown during this process. The groundbreaking brings us one step closer to the completion of this beautiful carousel, and I can’t wait to see people’s reaction when they’re able to take their first ride on the finished product.”
The carousel was in operation until the 1950s at which point it was stored by the De Angelis family until Buffalo Heritage Carousel acquired it in 2016 with the generous support of the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation.
City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, “This is another truly exciting day for Canalside, the City of Buffalo, and the Western New York Region. When this historic carousel debuts next summer, it will attract children of all ages who will enjoy riding it, as well as carousel buffs from around the world who will come to Buffalo to see it. My Administration and the Buffalo Common Council were pleased to transfer this parcel at the intersection of Perry and Prime streets to Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation for $1, to accommodate this $5.3 million project.”
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said, “This exciting project is just one component in a series of positive economic development advancements that are taking place at Canalside. Adding this historic carousel will help continue the growth along our waterfront and establish a landmark destination that will provide entertainment opportunities to residents of Erie County as well as visitors to our region.”
The carousel is planned to open in the summer of 2020. Carousel sponsorships are available at buffaloheritagecarousel.org, including for the Wurlitzer Band Organ and Adopt-A Horse/Animals.