The Carousel at Ithaca’s Stewart Park, with its horses freshly repainted just last summer thanks to volunteer effort, has been reassembled and will open to the public soon. Thanks to Photographer Joe Scaglione III for allowing us to share this video.
According to the Friends of Stewart Park, private donations have made it possible to install a new steel fence over the course of this winter to replace an older chain-link fence, and fundraising this month will support the installation of a wheelchair ramp and the adapting of one of the carousel’s chariots for wheelchair use.
First built in 1951, the carousel reopened for public use last July after a major refurbishment project that included repainting all 30 of the horses and other fittings, mostly with volunteer labor, with leadership from Ithaca artists Christi Sobel and Julia John. The Friends of Stewart Park solicited sponsorship donations of $500 per horse to cover the project expenses.
The carousel was disassembled in the fall and the horses were carefully packed away for winter storage.
Stewart Park first opened to the general public as Renwick Park in 1894, and was renamed Stewart Park shortly after the City of Ithaca purchased the park from the Renwick Park and Traffic Association, naming it after Mayor Edwin C. Stewart, who died a month before the park’s formal opening.