The Buffalo Heritage Carousel is a vintage menagerie carousel custom designed and locally manufactured in 1924. Today, the restored Carousel is not only a joy to ride but an educational experience, too. Before opening to the public in 2021, the Buffalo Heritage Carousel installed a Tesla solar roof to power the ride, a poetic connection between the region’s manufacturing past and its renewable energy future.
The nonprofit carousel serves visitors from the entire Western New York Region, and provides free entry, in addition to their fixed rate of $1 per ride, so that everyone can enjoy this historic and rare amusement ride.
Thanks to a Community Placemaking Grant, the Buffalo Heritage Carousel will have the opportunity to activate the space surrounding its building and share it as a public space. In this way, people can gather in a charming setting even when the carousel is not in service.
Some early placemaking ideas include adding solar-powered benches so people can hang out, charge their phones, and even work remotely. Having the great advantage of a waterfront location also opens up the possibility of creating an area for people to spend time enjoying Buffalo’s Lake Erie. After all, studies show that blue spaces such as this one have a myriad of benefits ranging from physical well-being to better interpersonal interactions. Given the regional reach of this destination, we expect the benefits of this effort to reach the full diversity of Buffalo, a growing majority-minority city.