Written by Alissa Anderson
The final results are in -- and the Paragon Carousel in Hull, Massachusetts is the winner of the 2009 Partners in Preservation public vote! Garnering 15% of all votes submitted at the Partners in Preservation website over the 34-day voting period, they are guaranteed to receive a Partners in Preservation grant of $100,000. This money will go toward installing historically accurate doors and restoring the original windows of the 12-sided building that houses the carousel -- one of only three such buildings in the U.S. still housing its original carousel at or near its original location.
I first visited the Carousel this past February, on one of the coldest days of the year, and walked through low-lying snow drifts (which had blown in through cracks beneath the building’s current garage-style doors) as staff artisan James Hardison gave a tour of the 66-horse carousel. Even in the 20 degree weather, with the machinery still and 1926 Wurlitzer Organ silent, it was a genuinely magical place. I can’t wait to make a summer return visit and see it come to life with riders and music and cotton candy -- especially once the PiP grant-funded renovations are completed in 2010 and the carousel is fully reconnected to its seaside surroundings and its history!
For more information on how the Friends of the Paragon Carousel, an exclusively volunteer-run organization, rallied so many supporters, check out the official press release. And stay tuned for June 16th, when the final list of grant recipients (chosen by American Express, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and an Advisory Committee comprised of Greater Boston civic and preservation leaders) will be announced!
Alissa Anderson is intern at the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Northeast Office in Boston.
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