The Canalside waterfront entertainment district in Buffalo NY, a popular destination for locals and visitors, will add another attraction this summer: a fully restored 1920’s carousel! The carousel will be housed within a gazebo-inspired timber frame pavilion with glass walls.
“The timber frame is an 80’ octagon with a clerestory. A 1500 lb steel octagon ring in the center will allow timber rafters to connect and light to come down from the clerestory,” explains Owen MacDonald, our lead timber frame engineer for the carousel. “We’ll have plenty of equipment for the raising: a large scissor lift, all-terrain forklift, two large cranes…and lots of muscle.”
Buffalo was a hub for carousel manufacturing for decades. This particular carousel was manufactured by the Herschell-Spillman Carousel Factory before heading to Massachusetts for several decades of use, then several more in storage. The Buffalo Heritage Carousel Inc purchased the carousel in 2016 and have been meticulously restoring it in a warehouse just a few hundred feet from where the original carousel assembly line resided a century ago. Hundreds of volunteer hours have been spent on each piece of the old carousel to bring it back to life. Another major goal for the project is to use solar panels on the roof of the timber frame structure to power the revitalized carousel.
More of the story of restoration of the carousel can be enjoyed via YouTube.
Our engineering and timber frame teams enjoyed the challenge of this project from planning to execution. Of the raising, Kevin Connors, lead architect for the carousel project, PE, AIA, CPHD, Principal Eco-Logic Studios shared, “The crew was jamming! Timbers look awesome and the precision is extraordinary! Good work!”
New York State Governor Cuomo commented as well: "The De Angelis Carousel is a symbol of Buffalo's proud history and its bright future, and we're honored to help preserve this local gem for generations to come," said Governor Cuomo. "As we continue to reopen our economy and New Yorkers look to the outdoors more than ever, it's critical that we remain committed to our efforts to revitalize the city's once forgotten waterfront, which has transformed into a vibrant, must-see part of Buffalo."
The timber frame raising had limited attendance due to the Coronavirus pandemic and a desire to keep folks healthy/safe. We’ll share more photos and more for remote viewing enjoyment here on our blog and our social media as the project continues.