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Jane’s Carousel, the vintage merry-go-round, has a new home in Brooklyn Bridge Park, a pavilion designed by noted architect Jean Nouvel.

All photographs by Daniella Zalcman for The Wall Street Journal.


Dumbo development pioneer David Walentas and his wife Jane donated a vintage carousel and more than $15 million to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Jane’s Carousel, as it is called, sits between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges in DUMBO.


Above, construction is under way on April 7, 2011.


The couple commissioned French architect Jean Nouvel to design the pavilion that will house Jane’s Carousel when it opens later this month. The structure cost more than $9 million to build.


Construction workers assemble the steel frame of the pavilion.


The carousel was originally made in 1922 and installed at Idora Park in Ohio. The couple purchased the carousel in 1984 from a theme park in Ohio.


Over the years, Ms. Walentas said she has kept the carousel in her studios and in storage. Children ride the carousel for the last time on March 25, before it is disassembled and brought to the studio to be retouched.


Ms. Walentas has been restoring the vintage carousel, which includes 48 hand-carved horses and two chariots, for the past 27 years.


Ms. Walentas stripped away decades of paint to reveal the original design and color palette underneath.


The pavilion uses clear acrylic panels cast in Colorado and industrial accordion doors designed and manufactured in Switzerland. The steel structure was fabricated in Canada and the granite for the steps was quarried in China. Above, construction crews continue work on the steel frame on June 17.


Mr. Walentas discovered DUMBO in 1978 and purchased much of the neighborhood’s real estate. Ms. Walentas said the carousel and its placement was part of the park’s master plan.


Ms. Walentas worked as an art director in cosmetics and fashion for many years before taking on the restoration project.


Ms. Walentas added pure gold leaf, pin striping, and faceted mirrors and jewels to the carousel. The horses were restored in their original details and colors.


Here, Ms. Walentas touches up the gold leaf on a carousel panel.


The mechanical systems of the merry-go-round were modernized and the carousel was adorned with 1,200 lights. Construction crews put the finishing touches on the frame last month.


$3.5 million of the couple’s financial gift went toward completing construction of the park, which sits along the East River.


Here, Ms. Walentas moves a carousel horse to the park from her studio on September 2.


Mr. and Ms. Walentas continue down a street in DUMBO.


Friends of the Walentas’ help bring the horses through the park.


The construction crew installs the horses.


Workers install the poles that will hold the horses.


The ride was the first carousel placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.


Jane’s Carousel will open to the public on September 16.

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