In keeping with the history of The Battery as the home to the first New York Aquarium, The Battery Conservancy included a design for an aquatic carousel when designing the park’s interior. It opened to the public on August 20, 2015. Let’s take a ride.
The 2,575 square foot pavilion—a huge chambered nautilus was designed by wxy architects. World-renowned set designer George Tsypin, who staged The Little Mermaid on Broadway, created a mystical underwater adventure that enables the riders to “become” fish. Riders sit inside one of 28 fiberglass molded figures (two others are fully accessible), ranging in height from 6 feet to 13 feet. Internally illuminated with color-changing LEDs, each fish recalls the bioluminescence found deep in the ocean.
The Carousel lacks the center pole of a traditional carousel. Instead, the four turntables are driven by electric motors housed below the floor. Each of the 30 massive fiberglass fish was custom designed and fabricated for SeaGlass by Show Canada. Internally illuminated with color-changing LED light fixtures and outfitted with integrated audio systems, each fish is designed to recall the bioluminescence found deep in the ocean.
The show’s underwater atmosphere is created through LED color-changing lighting combined with “water effect” light projectors hung from a custom-designed helical light ring.
Four wave-inspired perennial gardens designed by Piet Oudolf were generously underwritten by the Tiffany & Co. Foundation. Together they embrace the SeaGlass pavilion with ornamental grasses and herbaceous perennials in soft shades of blue, purple, and pink. The fishtail terraces adjacent to the gardens, with custom-made shade structures, tables, and chairs, have become a popular destination with families and school groups for picnic lunches, relaxation, and special birthday parties which can be arranged through The Battery Conservancy office.
Each $5 ride will give you three-and-a-half minutes of fun, with the underwater atmosphere created through LED color-changing lighting combined with “water effect” light projectors hung from a custom-designed helical light ring.
The variety of fish sculptures range from 13+ feet tall and 9+ feet wide, and are designed to move in a sort of simulated swim pattern, while a commissioned playlist filters through four speakers, providing a surround-sound experience.
This SeaGlass Carousel project had a design and construction cost of $16M and was made possible through a grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is funded through Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. TBC extends a special thanks to New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, LMDC Chairman Joseph Chan, and LMDC President David Emil.
While you’re there, buzz past The Battery: BeeVillage ~ an urban bee sanctuary designed to reflect NYC’s architectural journey from new Amsterdam to New York City, with tiny farmhouses and tenement style apartment buildings, each hive decorated to look like historic buildings of New York. BeeVillage helps to pollinate The Battery Urban Farm, where students and residents can experience sustainable farming.
Here are a few more Carousels throughout New York City beginning with Central Park Carousel ~ Le Carrousel in Bryant Park ~ The Pier 62 Carousel at West 22nd Street ~ Kid Carousel in Riverbank State Park at 145th Street ~ Jane’s Carousel ~ The Bug Carousel at Bronx Zoo