Friday, November 19, 2010

Parks Department Refuses To Reveal Amount Of Carousel Donation

William Adee of Local 52 cleans a Forest Park Carousel horse as film crews get set to shoot 'The Sitter' at shuttered treasure.
The City's Parks Department has refused to reveal the amount of the donation made in connection with filming last week by 20th Century-Fox in Forest Park. The "significant donation," - said to be $ 5,000 - was made for allowing filming including inside the Park's shuttered historic carousel. Advocates fighting to get the carousel reopened want the funds to be used towards that purpose but parks officials have other plans for it.


LOCAL residents are calling on city parks officials to earmark donated cash from a Forest Park film shoot for the shuttered, historic carousel, according to the New York Daily News.

Crews filming the "The Sitter" took over the park and the carousel in recent weeks to shoot scenes for the comedy.

A spokesman for 20th Century Fox, the film's production company, said it made a "substantial" donation to Forest Park.

Both the film company and the Parks Department have refused to disclose the amount.

The carousel, called priceless by experts, has been closed for two years while the Parks Department searches for someone interested in operating it as a concession. It was crafted more than 100 years ago by Daniel Carl Muller, considered a master woodcarver of the genre.

"Our kids deserve the chance to enjoy our carousel, not just some Hollywood celebrities," said Ed Wendell of the Woodhaven Residents Block Association. "That's why we're calling for every penny of that generous donation to be allocated to the restoration and reopening of the carousel."

Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski pointed out that the crews also filmed at other locations in the park.

"I understand people's concerns for the carousel, but that donation is for use of the park," she said. "The movie crews did some cleaning and repair work to the carousel and the concession stand. You have to consider that an in-kind donation.

"There must be transparency and accountability with these donations," said Geoffrey Croft of NYC Park Advocates, a watchdog group. "Unfortunately, that is not happening."

Read More:

New York Daily News - November 16, 2010 - By Lisa L. Colangelo

A Walk In The Park - November 3, 2010


  1. I think its disgraceful that the money isn't being used to keep the carousel going. I grew up in queens and remember it its beautiful design give it a nice nostalgic charm of long ago. I doubt very much a big time company like fox would only give 5,000 to parks dept I smell corruption.

  2. It is interesting to see how something with the historical significance of this carousel should be kept under wraps for so long. In this time when money is tight and a donation is made why not bring this beautiful place (not just the carousel but the area around it) back to life. If money has been donated and this is an area that needs to be revitalized why not use it for this area first. Bringing back the neighborhood people first then bringing back people anxious to see this marvelous specimen can not only help the carousel but the whole neighborhood.