The Buffalo Heritage Carousel project at Canalside is twirling full speed ahead.
We recently reported that the roundhouse structure was essentially complete. And now the actual carousel components have begun to arrive. Also, in the process of arrival, the various sections have been being pieced together, including the steel frame, a #153 Wurlitzer Band organ, and carousel horses, all of which have been painstakingly restored. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and numerous other public officials announced the mounting progress pertaining to the arrival and the assembly of the historic De Angelis Carousel.
The #153 Wurlitzer Band organ will play music scrolls that will be integrated with the carousel through computer technology.
“The De Angelis Carousel is another layer in the exciting transformation of Buffalo’s spectacular waterfront,” Governor Cuomo said. “As we continue to reopen our economy and build back better, this milestone on such a colorful and historic attraction is a reminder of the State’s long-standing commitment to projects like Canalside and the overall revitalization of a city known for its can-do attitude.”
“Canalside has become a magnificent place for families to enjoy and the De Angelis Carousel will soon become the star attraction,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “As we prepare to enter the post-pandemic future, the De Angelis Carousel offers a glimmer of hope and symbolizes the rebirth of an active Buffalo waterfront.”
The carousel itself, commissioned by Dominick De Angelis and manufactured in 1924 by Spillman Engineering in North Tonawanda, operated in the 1950s. In 2016, Buffalo Heritage Carousel purchased the ride from the De Angelis family (it had been sitting in storage at the time).
ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia said, “Buffalo’s waterfront has seen a remarkable transformation and the Buffalo Heritage Carousel will be a sensational attraction that will build on the progress, helping to draw even more visitors to Canalside. We look forward to welcoming families to enjoy the colorful carousel. It will be a sensational experience that is designed to complement the Explore & More Children’s Museum and the Longshed project, which opened last year.”
Board President of Buffalo Heritage Carousel, Inc. Laurie A. Hauer-LaDuca said, “The Buffalo Heritage Carousel’s mission to bring a locally manufactured, historical wood carousel powered by the sun to the Buffalo Community as a family attraction is nearing its opening day due to the tremendous support of many who had faith in our vision. We sincerely appreciate the tremendous efforts and dedication of our restoration volunteers who have spent significant time on restoring our carousel animals and rounding boards in our restoration workshop. We are thrilled to celebrate the great strides we have made in making our carousel project a reality and anxiously await our carousel’s grand opening day, when it can be enjoyed and appreciated by families once again and be the jewel of Canalside.”
Funding for the $5.8 million project has come from the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, New York Power Authority – NYPA (a result of the federal relicensing of the Niagara Power Project), the Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Committee (also funded by NYPA), the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, KeyBank, the First Niagara Foundation, Assemblyman Sean Ryan, Senator Chris Jacobs, Ralph C Wilson Foundation, and the Russell J. Salvatore Foundation.
Wegmans is among other business and individuals that have opted to adopt one of the menagerie animals or have contributed to the project campaign.
Senator Sean Ryan said, “As we continue our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, a thriving Canalside featuring the Buffalo Heritage Carousel will be an important part of our region’s economic revival. The carousel will be an affordable attraction complementing the existing amenities at Canalside and will draw families from far and wide to help spur that revival. The Buffalo Heritage Carousel is a symbol of our region’s progress, and I look forward to the opening of a new year-round Canalside attraction.”
NYPA Chairman John R. Koelmel said, “NYPA’s support toward this project, including the recent grant award by the Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Standing Committee, is a demonstration of the Power Authority’s commitment to the development of Canalside. The restored carousel will be a wonderful attraction for local residents and tourists alike.”
Congressman Brian Higgins said, “At Canalside we are rebuilding our future and creating destinations that are uniquely Buffalo by highlighting a past that is all our own. The history of the Erie Canal, the Longshed, U.S. battleships and now the Carousel are reimagined for the visitors of today and tomorrow. We are thrilled to add another family-friendly stop along Buffalo’s waterfront.”
The carousel is planned to open this summer.