The Crescent Park carousel is a very special place to not only me but to the thousands of people that have enjoyed the ride over the last 120 years. The carousel was built in 1895 by Charles l.D. Looff. Looff’s story in itself is an inspiration and truly is an example of how anything is possible when one sets their mind to it – it is one worth sharing. Born in Denmark in 1852, Looff immigrated to the United States at the age of 18. Settling down in Brooklyn, New York, Looff worked by day as a carver for a furniture factory. By night he would transform scrap wood, from the factory, into these magical carousel animals. These initial figures eventually became Coney Island’s first carousel. Looff went on to become one of the worlds most notable carousel builders, completing close to 100 before his death in 1918 – all five of his children worked for him, with one of his sons becoming a notable rollercoaster designer. After being pushed from his land in Brooklyn by the New York State Government, Looff moved to East Providence, Rhode Island, where he setup shop on the site of his carousel at, the widely known, Crescent Park. This carousel, was one of his largest and most elaborate, and eventually became his showpiece for prospective buyers – it is the only Looff carousel remaining today in its original building with the original organ.
Crescent Part for me represents so much more than an amusement. I enjoyed the carousel as a little boy and was recently reintroduced to its magic when my own children were born (Ruby, who is 1, and Mia, who is now 4). To look at the carousel from the eyes of a child again was quite a moving experience for me. This project came about for multiple reasons. One was a desire to help restore this nationally registered historic landmark so future generations can enjoy it (these will not last forever and the carousel is in serious need of help). The second is that after working nearly two decades in the arts as what I call the grease between the artist and fan (in both a label capacity and as a publicist), as an artist myself, I have been longing to have a piece of myself in a project – a cathartic experience if you will. With the help of my colleagues (notably Ed Vail, David Macaulay, Chris Swanson and Brendan Harney) we put together an amazing collection of work from some of my favorite artists that by itself, is well worth the support (especially to the many fans of these artists). IF you add the fact that the support will help raise awareness and restoration to restore the magic for future generations, it seemed like something that we would be crazy not to do.
The project series that is only available here and limited to just 3500 copies each, come as a collection of illustrations by David Macaulay with a 12″ collection of exclusive songs from each artists and serves as the first part in a two part experience leading up to the film, which is called “Sixty Two Horses”. Each will focus on one of the three intrinsic aspects of the carousel experience: light, sound, and motion. Again, these are only available here and will not be available in stores anywhere – ever.
We appreciate your support.
Shorebird is thrilled to announce that we are teaming up with, award winning author and illustrator, David Macaulay on our first multi-media release. Project Carousel will be a combination of an Illustrated book series with multiple book scores, a short film, and a musical film score, that revolve around the whimsical carousels of Charles I.D. Looff.