Several dozen horses have departed Binghamton as part of a long-delayed carousel restoration and relocation project at Ross Park.

Businessman George F. Johnson gave the carousel to the city in 1919. It's been a fixture in the South Side park ever since.

Binghamton officials have been working to develop a plan to restore the merry-go-round for the past decade. The city was awarded $500,000 in state money for the project in 2015.

The empty carousel shelter at Ross Park on November 18, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
The empty carousel shelter at Ross Park on November 18, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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The restoration work initially was expected to start in 2016 but the New York State Historic Preservation Office refused to approve the original plans.

The project now is moving forward with the removal of 59 horses, two chariots, rounding boards and other parts of the carousel. The major components have been transported to Connecticut to a carousel restoration company.

The rules of the Ross Park carousel are posted at its entrance. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
The rules of the Ross Park carousel are posted at its entrance. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Mayor Jared Kraham could not be reached Friday to discuss the project's timeline.

Ross Park Zoo executive director Phillip Ginter said "we're excited" that the work is getting underway.

It's clear that something important is missing at Binghamton's Ross Park. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
It's clear that something important is missing at Binghamton's Ross Park. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Once the pieces have been restored, the carousel will be reassembled at a different location within Ross Park. The new site will be about 250 feet from where it had been located.

Ginter said the zoo is working with a couple of consultants to develop a plan for use of the space that has been occupied by the carousel for more than a century.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com or (607) 545-2250. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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