Stewart Park Carousel Celebration

Saturday, June 18 , 2016 2-4pm


Join Friends of Stewart Park on Saturday, June 18th from 2 – 4pm for treat and free rides on the newly restored Stewart Park Carousel.  The Friends of Stewart Park, the City of Ithaca’s Parks & Forestry Division, and artists Christi Sobel & Julia John have been working together for the past two years to paint all 30 carousel horses, repair the carousel structure, and install a lovely new metal fence.  Help us celebrate the Stewart Park Carousel.

Carousel Ribbon_fspinvite_June18_2016



Friends of Stewart Park is partnering with the Wharton Studio Museum, the City of Ithaca, and you in revitalizing our lakefront gem!  In 1921, Stewart Park became our community’s first lakefront public park.  By 2021, in 14025celebration of the park’s centennial, we hope to make important improvements that will help keep the park vital for the next hundred years.  Learn more about how you can join in supporting our revitalization effort.

Together we have completed and continue to work on many exciting park revitalization projects:

  • Attractive new plantings at the park’s entrance and a restored Mayor’s Flagpole Garden 
  • Beautifully repainted carousel horses along with an attractive new fence around the carousel
  • Reconstruction of the Tea Pavilion and new bathrooms for the Picnic Pavilion
  • Interpretive signs for the park’s historic buildings and the Renwick Wildwood 
  • A new roof for the historic Cascadilla Boathouse, now being installed

With your continued support, 2016 promises to be another great year. Some of our priorities will include:

  • Building an inclusive playground and sprayplay area
  • Planning for the transformation of the historic Wharton Pavilion into a year-round park cultural center with a silent film museum as its centerpiece, exhibits on park history, ecology and birding, along with a community event space and lakefront café.
  • Improving the Picnic Pavilion including restoration of the lovely original window and door units along with painting and lighting improvements.

Make a Donation to the Friends of Stewart Park
Thank you for your support!

Visit the park!

With your help FSP has led the effort to repaint all of the Carousel horses and now installed a new Carousel fence!

The restored and repainted carousel has a new fence!  With the help of many generous donors listed below, the vision and artistry Christi Sobel and Julia John, and under the energetic leadership of FSP Board members Beverly Hillman and Diana Riesman, the Friends of Stewart Park has led this great effort to repaint all thirty carousel horses and replace the old chainlink fence with a beautiful and new steel fence.  Special thanks to Whitmore Fence Company who provided a generous discounted price for this lovely fence and to the City of Ithaca’s Department of Public Works’ Parks and Forestry Division for their support throughout the process.  Look for a spring time grand opening celebration to be announced soon!

Friends of Stewart Park would like to thank all the generous donors who made the Stewart Park Carousel Restoration possible. Below is a list of names of those who generously contributed to the carousel restoration. We are so grateful!

Carousel Horse Donors

Restored Carousel Horses at Stewart Park Ithaca NY - Friends of Stewart Park

Horse Sponsors ($500 & Above)
Caren Baldini
Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine
Cowett & Riesman Family
Mary Flinn
Glenn & Cassandra Galbreath
David Hall
Beverly & Robert Hillman
Jeffra Hull
Ithaca High School Class of 1960
Richard & Victoria John
Paul Kendal
Kathleen LaMorte
Bruce Lane
James Miller
Lucille Mills
Mr. & Mrs. T. Riley
Diane & Richard Shafer
Ted & Nancy Sobel
Jan & Susan Suwinski
Charlene Temple
Elliot & Milly Young

Horse  Donors (Under $500)
Christopher Anagnost
Sandy Augustine
Ernest Blake
Linda Bogel
Elissa Cogan
Comforts of Home Guest House
Amy Cronin
DaVinci Technology
Camille Doucet
Susan D. Dale-Hall
Myra Fincher
The Fischer Group
Elena Flash
Christopher & Virginia Gartlein
Aaron Godert
The Golden Dustman
Leslie Hayes
Home Green Home, Inc.
William & Phyllis Highland
Kristen Inglis
Ithaca Farmers Market Vendors
Judy Jensvold
Margaret John-Testa
Susan Larkin
Karl Madeo
Patricia Meenen
Charlie Mulligan
Andrea Masters & Bruce Piasecki
Judith Mendelson
Karen Nocera
F Taylor Peck III
Mary Ann & Brian Pitzer
Scott Reynolds
Rita Rosenberg
Robert Sanaker
Linda Santose
Gregory Sherrow
Larry & Lena Siany
Julie Simmons-Lynch & Alan Lynch
Kathryn Simon
Steven Strogatz & Carole Schiffman
James Swafford
Helen Talty
Brad Treat
Paul & Wieske Van Leuken
Aurora Rubens Valenti
Teresa L. Wagner
Gail Wagner
Tammy Yildirimturk

Carousel Fence DonorsStewartParkIthaca_CarouselFence03htxt

$500 and Above
Susan & Jan Suwinski
Cornell University
Diane & Richard Shafer
Allison Hall – In Memory of Dr. Edward and Margaret Hall
Liberty Hyde Bailey Garden Club
Beverly & Robert Hillman
Charles & Nancy Scholes
David Wilson
Evelyn Tracy – In Memory of Dr. Edward and Margaret Hall

Under $500
Robert Hillman II
David Banfield
Edward Michael
Stephen Beaulieu
Barbara Freeman
Linda Rogovin
Raymond Fox
Allan Simons
Barbara Darling
John Gutenberger
Katherine Bunnell
Lawrence McCray
Leo Cacciotti
Robert Gray
Sara Johnson & Nathan Dennis
Alison MacLeod
Aurora Valenti
Charlie Moeder
Bruce Beem-Miller
Dave Sears
Helen Swank

NOTE ON DONOR LIST ABOVE:  If you have made a donation to the carousel project and are not listed above or your name is misspelled, please email here and we will make the correction promptly.  Thank you for your understanding.

But there is more! FSP is continuing to raise funds for the next carousel improvement which includes installing a handicap-accessible ramp that will allow someone in a wheelchair to access the carousel, as well as a designated space on the carousel where a wheelchair could be secured.

Donations of any amount are welcome and can be submitted via the following options:

1. Mail a check to:
Friends of Stewart Park,
101 East State St. #222, Ithaca, NY 14850

(please write “Carousel” in the memo line of your check)
Make a donation directed to the Stewart Park Carousel via on-line payment here: Carousel Restoration Donations

Christi Sobel painting a Stewart Park carousel horse. Feb. 2015 - photo by Tommy Battistelli

About this project: The carousel at Stewart Park, in Ithaca NY, was installed in its current location in 1951. Built by the Herschell Spillman Company, in North Tonawanda, NY, this carousel was designed to be a portable carnival merry-go-round. Generations of Ithacans and their children have enjoyed riding these horses by the summer lakeshore. The City of Ithaca disassembles and stores the carousel indoors each winter. Last painted in 1986 by Annie Campbell, the carousel was in need of freshening up and making accessible to all.

Friends of Stewart Park has enthusiastically embarked on the restoration project which includes painting the 30 carousel horses, repainting and making accessible one of the chariot benches, building an accessible ramp and installing a new sturdy and decorative metal fence (to replace the old chain-link fence). Local artists and Ithaca natives Christi Sobel and Julia John teamed up to re-paint the carousel, one horse at a time, starting in the summer of 2014. Their beautiful work was completed by summer of 2015 and park visitors got back up on the saddle (or bench) and enjoyed another summer of fun carousel rides.

To learn more visit the Stewart Park Carousel blog and check out these news articles: