The recent clean-up of the city’s most iconic landmark has prompted a group tasked with building a home for a carousel, looking for a second project. The West Haven Carousel Committee, which is still looking to fund a building to house a 65-foot carousel, is looking to put a look-out pavilion on Savin Rock.
The move was prompted by the city’s massive beautification project at the shore landmark, where trees and dense brush were removed, and the “Rock” returned to the way it looks decades ago.
“The Carousel Committee is exploring the possibility of installing a look-out pavilion atop of Savin Rock. We want to restore the history of Savin Rock, reminiscent of the mid-1800’s when an observatory stood majestically on the Rock,” said Carousel Committee Chairman Michael Mercuriano in a press release this week.
A look-out tower – or “belvedere” – was on the Rock through the early part of the 20th Century, when the Savin Rock amusement park was fast becoming a go-to place for summer visitors.
“We think it will be a great attraction to the city of West Haven and a source of pride to the citizens of West Haven,” Mercuriano said in the press release. “It would beautify the shoreline and reflect a testament to preserving the history of old Savin Rock. The location next to our educational Savin Rock museum is ideal.”
This is the second time Mercuriano has called for a look-out at the Rock. In the early 2000s he called for a clearing and beautification of the Rock, allowing visitors to view Long Island Sound. He has been a staunch supporter of returning the city to its past by bringing in attractions. The carousel, which has been discussed for almost two decades, is still in progress.
That project calls for a pavilion constructed as an adjunct to the Savin Rock Museum and a large merry-go-round placed there similar to the one that was on Beach Street until the amusement park was closed in 1966. A carousel made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, makers of the original ride, has been eyed for the site.
The committee’s plan for the site would include a walkway entranc,e which would be three-tiered would begin at the handicapped area created by the West Haven Lions Club in the 1980’s by then-president Michael Mercuriano. There would be stops along the tiers with resting benches.
The project would be a private enterprise, done with the approval of city officials, according to Mercuriano. The committee is looking to secure other organizations’ help for the plan.
“We invite any groups or individuals interested in working on this project to please contact Michael Mercuriano at email@example.com,” he said.
“Additionally the Carousel Committee is still very active and has become members of the National Carousel Committee, who share the vision of carousel revival, a trend occurring throughout the United States. We have received support from far and wide with generous offers of gifted or loaned carousels. Many share the vision and mass appeal a beautiful carousel beside the ocean would attract. Sadly, over the past decade our local administrations have failed to share the same vision and enthusiasm,” he said.