Jane Walentas lost her battle with cancer and passed away on Sunday, July 5 after a battle with cancer.
Jane and her husband, David Walentas, transformed the quiet, desolate neighborhood of DUMBO into one of the premier waterfront communities in the city.
And if it wasn’t for Jane, there would be no “Jane’s Carousel” in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Jane Walentas and David purchased the Philadelphia Toboggan Company carousel for $385,000, rescuing it over the next decade, Jane lovingly restored it, bringing it back to it’s 1922 glory. Its 48 wooden horses are the handiwork of artists John Zoller and Frank Caretta. This carousel, which also had chariots and a Wurlitzer organ, became the first of its kind to earn a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
A resident of Youngstown, Ohio, wrote this message about the sale, “As a lifetime resident of the Youngstown, Ohio, area I will be forever indebted to Jane for saving and restoring our beloved carousel. Not only was I on board the last time it turned here in Youngstown (and had ridden for almost an hour to be sure to be on the very last spin), I had the high bid on one of the horses at the auction. I (and everyone around me) cried tears of absolute joy when it sold as a unit, as it deserved to be. She made an entire city area so happy and those of us who remember Idora will always smile when we see pictures of it up and running again…”
Prior to its placement in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Walentas’ first opened the restored carousel in one of their buildings on Front Street in DUMBO. It was where my daughter and her friend first got to ride the renewed horses and chariots. It is a memory that my daughter will always cherish.
Thank you Jane Walentas for your devotion. You will always be remembered in Brooklyn.