Since 1906, the children of New Orleans have enjoyed the “flying horses” of City Park’s Carousel, one of only 100 antique wooden carousels operating in the country, and the last one in Louisiana. Featuring the masterwork of famed Connecticut woodcarvers Looff and Carmel, this carousel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Recently, this historic structure received a much-needed makeover as it recovers from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. The distinctive 12-sided, domed building essentially survived the fiercest winds and any damage from the giant oaks surrounding it. But when 80% of the city was flooded, the carousel sat in four feet of murky floodwater for more than three weeks, severely damaging the interior flooring and outdoor decks.
McShan Lumber Company of McShan, Alabama, delivered more than 11,000 board feet of premium tongue-and-groove Southern Pine flooring. The material is replacing both interior flooring surfaces: the actual turntable of the carousel, and the spectator area surrounding it. Application of several coats of a protective stain/sealer will provide a serviceable, long-lasting finish.
Outside, around the perimeter of the carousel, is an 8-foot-wide deck made of 2×6 treated Southern Pine. After the floodwaters receded and the decking was cleaned, park officials noticed that all the original decking screws were badly corroded after being submerged for weeks.
Swan Secure Products of Baltimore donated 9,000 stainless steel screws to replace all fasteners in the decking. City Park workers and volunteers replaced the corroded screws with Swan’s #10×3.5″ stainless steel screws. The new screws are slightly larger than the original fasteners, providing optimum security at each joint.