March 15, 2023 — Community discussions about the future of the historic carousel will be held March 23 and 28. The Downtown Hampton Development Partnership has asked the City Council to move it to make room for a larger waterfront park.
Tom Tingle, architect of the downtown business group's plan, will describe the concept for turning Carousel Park into Riverfront Park. He also studied flooding potential in the current site and the costs of moving the carousel to a a new elevated building either in the current location, in Mill Point Park, or back to Buckroe Beach and Park.
The carousel was built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and installed at Buckroe Beach Amusement Park in 1920. It contains 42 oil paintings, 30 mirrors, a 1914 Bruder band organ, 48 hand-carved wooden horses, and two upholstered, hand-carved wooden chariots. It was disassembled in 1985 when the amusement park closed. The carousel was restored and installed in its present location downtown, adjacent to the Virginia Air and Space Science Center, in 1991. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The public meeting on March 23 will be in-person, at 6:30 p.m. in rooms 106-107 of the Hampton Roads Convention Center. A virtual meeting on Facebook Live will be held March 28 at 7 p.m. The city's Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/HamptonVA/