Featured in “Unique Buildings Of The World” July 2011
Geelong’s beautiful waterfront Carousel is one of the jewels of Geelong and a must with any visitor to our region. Standing proudly on a newly built harbour on our waterfront the modern sail like steel and glass structure glistens in the sun and is one of the main focal points of our new waterfront precinct.
Inside the huge pavilion things get even more special with a very rare and beautiful Armitage – Herschell Carousel dating back to 1892 restored to its former glory, complete with 36 horses and two lovely chariots. The historic carousel is one of the few left in the world and ours is probably the best still in use. 24 of the horses are original and took over 300 man hours each to restore, the other 12 were made using many of the same processes as the original to make them as authentic as possible. Even authentic coach wood was imported from the USA to match the original. The whole project took craftsman over two years to complete after being stored for many years in the Victorian gold district town of Castlemaine.
Inside the carousel there are paintings telling the story of King Arthur and Camelot. The painting forms branches which hold the canopy like a giant tree.
The pavilion features a small display showing the restoration process and even includes one of the original horses in the condition it was purchased. It is quiet amazing what these talent craftsmen were able to do bringing the carousel to life and bringing so much joy to new generations people for years to come.
Originally powered by steam but now electric, the carousel was built by the Armitage Herschell Company in New York and history shows it was used in New York before it came to Australia around 1920. It spent a large portion of it’s life in the Mornington Peninsula seaside town of Mordialloc on the other side of the bay. The carousel is also beloved to have been part of a travelling carnival before ending up left in a paddock in Echuca to slowly deteriorate. Later it ended up in a auction lot and moved to Castlemaine, then the City of Greater Geelong with help from the State Government purchased to historic ruins and organised its huge restoration.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Camera: Canon EOS 50D
Lens: Sigma 18-200mm f3.5 – 6.3 @ 18mm
Exposure: f8, 1/250, ISO100, RAW, Tripod
Processing: Photomatix 3.2 (3 exp ±2) & Photoshop CS4