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Historic Brooklyn Bridge Park carousel gets flood protection

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When the East River overflowed during Hurricane Sandy, it very nearly took Jane's Carousel with it.

Eerie photos taken the night of the storm showed Brooklyn Bridge Park's vintage 1922 carousel, which re-opened in 2011 after many years of careful restoration, inundated by the floodwaters.

Come morning, the 48 intricately carved horses were all still standing, as was the glass building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel that encases it. But the basement was flooded, effectively wiping out the carousel's electronic controls.

The couple who labored over the merry-go-round for thirty years has decided to make sure it is never so threatened again.

Brooklyn developer David Walentas and his wife Jane, whose many years of hand-restoration gave the carousel its name, joined Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer on Wednesday to unveil an AquaFence flood protection system that will be used to protect the space during future storms. The system consists of 44 separate panels capable of being assembled by a crew of 10 people within two hours.

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“The image of Jane’s Carousel submerged during Hurricane Sandy will remain in our memories and is a testament to the importance of resilient design and preparedness in the face of climate change,” Myer said.

“We are fortunate that our park designers made a conscious effort to design a park capable of withstanding the impact of storms and major floods and applaud David and Jane Walentas’ efforts to plan for the future.”

Follow Emily Johnson on Twitter @emilyjreports

 
 
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