[ Ref. "Restore America's Carousel Organs" in 070328 MMDigest
Mr. Barrett has great ideas, but may not be aware of all the facts in
each case concerning the organs. If he would like to begin such a fund
and head it up he is welcome to join us at the rally on Coney Island,
on April 1st, and do what he wants us to do.
New York City is in the process of trying to rescue what they can of
band organs, carousels, etc. With the recent sale of Astroland, the
only amusements left in Coney Island following this coming Labor Day
will be the Cyclone, because it is on city property, the defunct
parachute jump and the B&B Carousell and organ. The B&B and
organ are currently stored in a warehouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard
and we of the Lady Liberty Chapter of AMICA and Todd Robbins of Coney
Island USA have been trying for more than a year to gain access to the
carousel and organ to volunteer our time and efforts in restoring this
for free, but to no avail.
Concerning the Gebruder organ in Flushing Meadow Park, it isn't playing
because the owner refused to pay the restorer. That restorer has some
parts of the organ in storage and will gladly replace them when the owner
agrees to pay. Until then, they will continue to play CDs of Barney.
The historic carousel factories are currently Russian furniture stores.
They are zoned for amusement, but "developers" want to tear them down
and replace them with "something more lucrative". The folks at Coney
Island USA have been helping the Russian guys stay there simply to
preserve the buildings.
The people who bought Astroland, the last amusement ride area in New
York City, and its surroundings are busy making rubble of everything as
quickly as possible. They have not engendered the graces of anyone in
the area or the city as a whole.
Happily, the Coney Island Museum has just closed [escrow] on their
building and are in the process of obtaining another building, the
oldest in the area, so they can expand. They need a few million
dollars. So, if Mr. Barrett would like to come and help raise funds
so that we can preserve what we have left, please join us on April 1,
rain or shine.
As to organs from other areas, I will leave that up to those more
familiar with them who live in the area. I am sure that they will also
welcome Mr. Barrett and his fund raising abilities.
Vincent Morgan, New York City
Past Pres. of Lady Liberty Chapter, AMICA, member of Coney Island USA,
New York City resident for 37 years.
[ Editor's Note: B&B refers to "Bischoff & Brienstein" --Jody