News Column

Will the Casino Pier Carousel stay in one piece?

August 23, 2014

By Nicholas Huba, Asbury Park Press, N.J.



Aug. 23--SEASIDE HEIGHTS -- There could be hope for those wishing the historic Casino Pier Carousel stays in one piece.

Guernsey's, the New York City-based auction house tasked with selling the attraction, said it has yet to formalize a date for the sale in hopes of finding a buyer who will keep the carousel intact.

"We have not secured a buyer yet, but we are still working very hard to find someone interested in purchasing the carousel intact," said Jessica Weeg, spokeswomen for Guernsey's. "For that reason, we have not yet started looking at dates for the auction."

Late last month, the owners of Casino Pier, which include Vincent Storino and his family, decided to sell their iconic carousel in an auction. The owners said the current economy forced them to look for a new home for the ride.

For Louis White, a 28-year-old resident of Toms River, the lack of a date for the auction is a good sign. After hearing the news of auction off of the attraction last month, White took to Facebook and created "Save the Antique Carousel," a page dedicated to saving the ride. On the Facebook page, supporters are posting photographs as well as recounting their memories from the attraction. The page has more than 3,700 followers.

"Considering the reasons for the auction of the carousel, I am optimistic this piece of history will remain in one piece," White said.

The Dr. Floyd L. Moreland Dentzel/Looff Carousel, as it's known, has been in Seaside Heights since 1932. Built in 1910, it initially was located at Burlington Island Park near the Delaware River. A 1928 fire destroyed most of that amusement park, though only partially damaged the carousel. It was fixed, disassembled and moved to Seaside Heights at the height of the Great Depression.

It is named after Moreland, 71, who lives nearby in Toms River'sOrtley Beach section. Moreland oversaw the restoration of the badly deteriorated carousel in the 1980s. His friends and family members spent countless weekends inside the then-unheated carousel building in the off-season, painstakingly repairing more than 50 horses and two chariots as well as the two camels, one lion and one tiger that made up the merry-go-round's menagerie.

Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey's, said he expects Casino Piers' carousel to fetch more than B&B Carousel from Coney Island in Brooklyn, which was sold to New York City for nearly $2 million in 2005. The Coney Island sale also was handled by Guernsey's, Ettinger said. No minimum price has been placed on the sale, he said. The ride is expected to stay open until auction, officials said.

Despite the lack of the sale date, White still fears that landmark attraction could still be sold in pieces.

"Let's face it: Storino wants it out, and out it will come," White said.

––––

Nicholas Huba: 732-557-5617; nhuba@app.com

––––

Carousel Facts

Cost for a ride: $2.25 or 3 tickets

Total number of animals: 58. 35 moving horses, 18 stationary, 2 camels, 1 lion, 1 tiger

Total number of chariots: 2

Total number of lightbulbs: 2,016

15 original antique paintings from 1910 in center casing.

___

(c)2014 Asbury Park Press (Neptune, N.J.)

Visit the Asbury Park Press (Neptune, N.J.) at www.app.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


For more stories covering arts and entertainment, please see HispanicBusiness' Arts & Entertainment Channel



Source: Asbury Park Press (NJ)


Story Tools






HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters