Central Park Carousel

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Coordinates: 40°46′12″N 73°58′31″W / 40.769939°N 73.975261°W / 40.769939; -73.975261

Central Park Carousel in the winter
Map of notable buildings and structures at Central Park (note: not all entrances shown). Pan and zoom the map and click on points for more details.

The Central Park Carousel is a vintage carousel located in Central Park in Manhattan, New York City, at the southern end of the park, near East 65th Street. It is the fourth carousel on the site where it is located.


The current carousel is officially the Michael Friedsam Memorial Carousel.[1] It is the fourth carousel in the park since 1871, all located at the same site,[2][3] and is part of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission's Central Park Scenic Landmarks.[2]

The original 1871 carousel was powered by a mule or horse under its platform, signaled to start and stop by the operator tapping his foot. The two succeeding versions were destroyed by fires in 1924 and 1950.[3]


The Interior of the Carousel showing the Ruth & Shon Model 33.

The current carousel, which was restored in 1990,[3] has 57 hand-carved horses — 52 jumpers and 5 standers — and two chariots.[2] It is open seven days a week when weather permits and serves around 250,000 riders every year.[3] The carousel has a Ruth & Sohn Band Organ playing waltzes, marches, and polkas.[4] The organ was converted to play Wurlitzer 150 rolls. The carousel was installed in the park in 1951 with a new structure surrounding it.[1][2][5][6] It is one of the largest merry-go-rounds in the United States[3] and was made by Solomon Stein and Harry Goldstein in 1908.[3] It was originally installed in a trolley terminal in Coney Island in Brooklyn,[3][7][8][5][6] where it operated until the 1940s.[3][5][6]

In 2010, the city evicted the previous tenant who managed the Carousel. A new tenant was found: Trump Organization, a prominent New York City conglomerate owned by Donald Trump, which also operated the nearby Wollman Rink. In return for a lease until 2020, Trump promised to invest $400,000 in renovations over ten years and pay a yearly lease that started at $250,000 and scaled up to $325,000. In statements released as part of the Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign, the Carousel grossed $1.72 million between 2013 and the end of 2015.[9] The contract to operate the carousel has been extended through 2021.[10]

In popular culture[edit]

The carousel was notably mentioned in J.D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye and is featured in the Marvel TV series The Punisher (though filming took place at the Forest Park Carousel in Queens).



  1. ^ a b White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot & Leadon, Fran (2010), AIA Guide to New York City (5th ed.), New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195383867 p.413
  2. ^ a b c d New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Dolkart, Andrew S.; Postal, Matthew A. (2009), Postal, Matthew A. (ed.), Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.), New York: John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1 p.133
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Carousel" on the Central Park Conservancy website
  4. ^ "Central Park Carousel" on the National Carousel Association website
  5. ^ a b c "Central Park to Get Carrousel From City to Replace Burned One" (PDF). The New York Times. December 6, 1950. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Johnston, Laurie (July 2, 1951). "They're Off at 11, Mayor Riding, In Central Park's New Carrousel" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  7. ^ Hopkins, Roland (November 16, 2008). "Central Park's Stein & Goldstein Celebrates 100th Years". Carousel News. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
  8. ^ "Coney Island Terminal of the Coney Island & Brooklyn Railroad". Electric Railway Journal. McGraw Publishing Company. 39 (19): 790–792. May 11, 1912. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  9. ^ Fitzsimmons, Daniel (February 24, 2016). "Carousel or Donald Trump?". www.nypress.com. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  10. ^ Bump, Philip (May 16, 2018). "Trump has earned $59 million in three years running attractions for New York City". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved June 5, 2018.

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