Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton

4.6
#5 of 15 in Things to do in Binghamton
Recreation Park is a public, urban park in Binghamton, New York. Located in Binghamton's West Side, Recreation Park is bordered by Seminary Avenue on the South, Beethoven Street on the West, Schubert Street on the North, and Laurel Avenue on the East. It was founded by shoe manufacturer George F. Johnson, and is home to one of his six famous carousels. The park also contains a bandstand, statues, numerous athletic fields and courts, a playground, and walking paths.HistoryPrior to being a park, the property was primarily farmland, owned by Abel Bennett, the former first mayor of Binghamton, along with three smaller parcels owned by others. These parcels, totaling eighteen acres in all, were purchased by George F. Johnson, the founder of Endicott-Johnson Shoe Corp., and then donated to the City of Binghamton in October 1921. The only condition of this gift of property was "that it shall remain forever a public park, and that it shall be properly improved and maintained by the city as such. If at any time this property shall be used for any other purpose, it shall revert to the giver, his heirs or assigns."The Herschell carousel was added in 1925. The bathhouse, which once had a red tile roof, still serves its patrons. The bandstand hosts concerts in the summertime. In the early days of the park, a giant wooden toboggan slide was situated at the Laurel Avenue side but was lost in a fire.By the 1980s, the park was in serious disrepair. In the 1986 Heritage Committee Special Report, written by a task force that reviewed the park and made recommendations, members lamented that the park "has primarily changed only in the form of falling into such a state of disrepair that renovation is no longer cost efficient." The park underwent restoration, including restoration of the bandstand. The reflecting pool and its sculpture, Boy with Fish, were restored in 2004 (the latter by the Binghamton University art department through a grant from the Rose-Ross University and Community Projects Fund).
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Recreation Park Carousel Reviews
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TripAdvisor
  • October 2, 2017
    Where else can you ride a beautifully restored carousel from 1925 and for free! He didn't want any child to not be able to go on one so all they had to bring was a piece of litter to ride. The music c...  more »
  • September 13, 2017
    I was really impressed with how long the carousel ride was. I loved how old it is and the history behind it, I also loved that you can see the machine playing the music and doing the drums... very fas...  more »
  • September 7, 2017
    Like the new play ground they put in. My kids enjoyed playing there. The park has wooden instruments. Well shades.  more »
Google
  • May 23, 2017
    Best place to walk. The park is timing specific open from 6am to 9 pm. There is also an open lawn and tennis courts. Its covers a wide area. One walk around the park is good exercise.
  • May 27, 2017
    Beautiful and large park. Great for walks, picnics, pick up sports games, family outings, etc. Has large playground area and swimming pool.
  • May 30, 2017
    Beautiful park. The playground is awesome. Theres a few ingress missions 😀
  • June 7, 2017
    Awesome park in the city. A "must do" is the carousel!! But leave by Sun down.
  • June 2, 2017
    Nicest park I've been to in a long time, we had a blast with the grandkids!

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