January 5, 2008

It’s time to bore everyone with a little history!

Asbury Park, in its heyday, had two notable carousels: the Palace Amusements Carousel (not pictured) and the Casino Carousel House (pictured). The carousel inside both structures were removed in the 1980s–so I actually got a chance to ride one of them (don’t ask me which one; I was less than 5 years old) before it was too late.

The Palace Amusements Carousel (not pictured) was designed by Charles Looff, c. 1888. A fire in 1910 did a lot of damage, but repairs were made, and the carousel went on jingling until another fire in the 1960’s. The wooden horses were then replaced with fiberglass ones. So if it was removed in 1988, where is it now? According to Carousels.com, in 1988, “the frame went to an amusement park in Mississippi; many of the horses were used as replacements for other carousels and ultimately, the frame was destined for the scrapyard.” The Palace Amusements building was demolished in 2004 (but they were able to save Tille, a local landmark).

The Casino Carousel House (pictured) was designed by Whitney Warren (one of the men who designed NYC’s Grand Central Station), and it used to house the Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel #87, which was installed around 1923. I don’t know exactly when the carousel was removed from Asbury Park, but parts of it can now be found at Family Kingdom Park in Myrtle Beach, SC. (The horses are not the original ones, but some of them are said to be cast from the originals.)