Jane Walentas, an artist, philanthropist, creator and designer perhaps best known locally for painstakingly restoring an iconic amusement ride, has died.
Walentas, who operated Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn, N.Y., died Sunday at age 76 after a battle with cancer, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
Jane Walentas, who rebuilt Idora Park’s PTC carousel in Brooklyn as “Jane’s Carousel”, has passed away https://t.co/GUwy0AvFPL
— Martin Lewison, PhD (@milst1) July 10, 2020
Katie Ryan Roth, the business’s vice president and director of operations, confirmed the death Wednesday but declined to comment further.
Many Mahoning Valley residents likely remember the Teaneck, N.J., native for her work in restoring the former Idora Park merry-go-round (now known as Jane’s Carousel), after the park’s demise. In April 1984, a fire from a welder’s torch quickly spread and caused about $2.5 million in damage. Idora Park opened that summer, but closed permanently in September 1984.
The Philadelphia Toboggan Co. built the carved, wooden carousel ride in 1922 that was a favorite attraction for generations of Idora Park lovers of all ages.