Acrylic pavilion, New York City


Acrylic pavilion, New York City


The people of New York recently celebrated the opening of an historic 1920s carousel on the city’s riverfront between Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. The beautiful fairground ride took more than 25 years to restore and is now protected from the elements by a large R-Cast® acrylic pavilion made by Reynolds Polymer Technology Inc (RPT) based on Lucite International’s (LI) MMA.


The New York City (NYC) Mayor, Michael R Bloomberg, public officials, the architect, Jean Nouvel, as well as thousands of NYC locals attended the grand opening and the R-Cast® acrylic pavilion proved immediately useful. As rain fell onto the crowd outside, riders on the carousel stayed warm and dry.

Artist Jane Walentas and her husband, David, purchased the carousel in 1984 from Idora Park amusement park in Youngstown, Ohio after a devastating fire had led to its closure. While firefighters saved the carousel, decades of poor painting, disrepair, and scorch marks led to Jane spending 25 years researching the carousel’s history, developing paint formulations specific to the era it was built and repairing various parts of the horses as she slowly restored it to its original condition.

After spending so much time, energy, and money on the project Jane was determined to protect the newly restored carousel without masking its beauty. Seeking advice from a Pritzker prize-winning architect, Jane said: “Jean Nouvel was adamant about using acrylic. We would have been OK with a glass structure, but Jean was insistent that we use acrylic to achieve vast expanses of clear view without structural interruption.”

These unimpeded views were realized on the north and south sides of the structure in R-Cast® acrylic panels custom manufactured 25′ (7.6m) tall and an average of 3′ (1m) wide set into accordion-fold doors. 27′ (8.2m) by 10′ (3m) wall panels were installed on the east and west faces. The accordion-fold doors allow pedestrians to flow around the carousel, and fresh air to circulate when the weather is nice.

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