Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

June 13, 2013

Angela Berti
(716) 278-1764

Historic Midway State Park Carousel Returns Home

Governor Cuomo's NY Works Fund Helping Revitalize State Parks

Rose Harvey, the Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation today welcomed the return of Midway State Park's iconic carousel to its historic and newly refurbished roundhouse building. The $556,000 project was funded by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's NY Works program along with donations from the Friends of Midway.

For the last four years, the popular Herschell carousel had been relocated to a parking lot due to the deteriorated condition of the 1928 roundhouse building. The project to stabilize the building, replace the roof, repair windows, install new pathways and add new cedar benches will provide a more enjoyable setting for carousel rides.

Commissioner Harvey said: "This carousel is so iconic and has provided so many memories for those that grew up at Midway State Park. I am thankful to Governor Cuomo for his investment through the NY Works program as well as to the efforts of the Friends of Midway who have made completion of this project their mission. It is a wonderful example of collaboration for the benefit of our parks."

In addition to the work on the roundhouse, Parks staff replaced the mechanicals of the carousel and replaced the rounding boards which are the panels of painted art that run along the top of the Carousel. The Friends of Midway are leading an effort to repaint carousel horses in decorative finish that blends with the 1946 carousel's Art Deco style. Artist Diane Gatto has painted a prototype horse, and the remaining 29 animals have been sand-blasted, primed and base-coat painted to prepare them for the new design.

Robert Wooler, President of the Friends of Midway, said: "The gift of being able to put families back in touch with their memories of growing up here in the park and on the carousel is the spirit that points the way for the project. The state funding and these donations provide the fuel."

Last year, Governor Cuomo and the state Legislature authorized the NY Works program to provide $89 million statewide, leveraging $143 million in total funding, to move forward with more than 100 overdue projects to improve 55 parks and historic sites and spur job creation and economic development. The Midway project was among the first to be funded. This year, a second round of $90 million in NY Works funding will advance an additional 90 construction projects to upgrade and repair more than 50 state parks and historic sites across New York.

The Midway project made use of numerous local businesses and contractors, including Diane Gatto, Hanson Signs; Watts Architects and Engineers; Kinley Corporation; Oddo Construction Services; Signet Construction, Inc.; Alhstrom Shaffer; Paint Medics; and Ekstrom Painting.

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation maintains and operates 179 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 60 million people annually. A recent study by Parks & Trails New York found that New York State Parks generates $1.9 billion in economic activity annually and supports 20,000 jobs. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.