“the music plays by itself & the lights flicker”
The Crescent Park Carousel was built in 1895 by Charles I.D. Looff, one of the earliest and foremost carousel designers. The Crescent Park Carousel is nationally recognized as a true masterpiece of wood sculpture. Originally built as a showcase for prospective buyers, it is the largest and most elaborate of Looff's works. The Carousel contains 62 beautifully hand carved figures and four fanciful chariots. Overall richness of effect was Looff's trademark and the Crescent Park Carousel gives full interpretation to that spirit. Elaborate embellishments of decorative panels, beveled mirrors, faceted glass jewels, electric lights, colored sandwich glass windows and its original band organ music surround flying steeds to create Looff's "Total Carousel Experience." Saved in the 1970's by a handful of residents, the Crescent Park Carousel was placed on the National Register of Historic sites and places in 1976. In 1985, the Rhode Island General Assembly proclaimed the Carousel as the State Jewel of American Folk Art and in 1987, the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, designated the Carousel as a National Historic Landmark. This beautifully engineered carousel is over one hundred years old and was once part of a ballroom and amusement park. Unfortunately there was a fire that occurred in 1960 which burnt the ballroom down, but left the carousel. It is believed that the people that died in the tragic fire haunt the carousel. The music likes to play by itself and the lights flicker on and off. Down by the water a lady in a bell hooped skirt has been seen walking down by the water. Where the train tracks used to run there is now a bike trail. It is said that at night you can hear trains coming through and strange flashes of light although trains do not run on the tracks anymore.
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Looff Carousel at Crescent Park
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