Since 1906 children and adults have enjoyed the "flying horses" of City Park's antique carousel.
The carousel, featuring the masterwork of famed carousel carvers Looff and Carmel, is listed on the National Register of Historic
City Park attracts 11 million visitors annually. The carousel features 54 hand-carved, colorful animals.
Charles Looff is considered to be one of the best (and one of the first) carousel carvers in history.
The first carousel he carved was in Coney Island, New York and included 27 figures, including horses, camels, zebras,
and other animals.
By 1880, Looff had produced three carousels and established a factory in Brooklyn where he would build carousels for about
During his lifetime he completed carvings for about 40 carousels.
Many carousel carvers learned their skills carving for Looff.
Looff had many style changes over the years and it is interesting to speculate on which of these carvers may have caused
the changes. It is more likely that Looff kept a close eye on his competition and carved more and more elaborate horses to
outdo the other carvers.
This progression in styles can be seen by comparing his early style, as seen at Seaport Village in San Diego, California,
the mixed era carousel at Crescent Park, Rhode Island, and the spectacular and very popular late-style Looff carousel operating
in downtown Spokane, Washington.
Seaport Village Horse
Another Seaport Village Horse
Crescent Park, Rhode Island Carousel
Another View of the New Orleans Flying Horses
Charles Carmel carved for Charles Looff before he went out on his own.
Carmel carousel animals are highly decorated and noticeable Carmel traits include:
elaborate "fish scale" blankets
the lolling tongue on many of his horses
Carmel's style is difficult to describe as he seems to have adopted traits from all the other carvers.
Carmel carousels still exist in Rye, New York, Elysburg, Pennsylvania, and in our own City Park.
Derby Racers at Playland (Rye, New York) which move vertically and horizontally
Many more photographs of the Playland Derby Racers
The Grand Carousel, ,Knoebels Grove, Elysburg, Pennsylvania
Close up Interior of our Hines Carousel
It is one of only 100 antique wooden carousels in the country and the last one in Louisiana.
12-sided, domed building in the William A. Hines Carousel Gardens.
Exterior View at Night
Vounteers of America worker restoring a "flying horse" after the Katrina flood.
Next -- New Orleans Museum of Art