In 2001, Karen and an interested group of local residents met to address the logistics. That same year the project became incorporated and was granted not-for profit status.
Volunteers worked tirelessly, recruiting woodcarvers to donate their skills and sponsors to underwrite the costs, met with local government groups, and worked with the community, local artists, and builders. The response from woodcarvers was immediate, and in 2006 the Village of Saranac Lake donated land for the Carousel’s home at the historic William Morris Park.
Overwhelmed and excited at the outpouring of support ensuring that the Adirondack Carousel, when completed, would be truly “built with community hands,” the organization broke ground on June 20, 2011.
Karen’s dream has become a reality, and is now housed in a 3,600 square foot pavilion that includes gallery, workshop and classroom space. Outside the building is a playground and a pathway constructed from personal, permanently engraved pavers that were sold as part of the fundraising efforts. Twenty-four handcrafted wildlife animals (18 of which are displayed at one time) and a wheelchair-accessible chariot (a Chris Craft boat) grace the Carousel. Local artists hand painted decorative panels and medallions at the top of the Carousel with area scenes and local flora; a local blacksmith forged the weather vane that sits atop the main cupola, and a local carpenter built the ticket counter. Countless volunteers painted and stained the building inside and out.
The Adirondack Carousel officially opened its doors in 2012. Please come for a visit!