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Herschell Carousel Factory Museum, North Tonawanda, New York

State Award Winner!!

Project Overview:herschell carousel
Hundreds of carousels and thousands of carousel animals were made in the Allan Herschell Carousel Factory, but only one carousel with 32 horses remained in the only surviving carousel factory in the United States. The historic factory complex, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was in the process of being restored, but there was no exhibit, or even an exhibit gallery, where the company's story and some of the magical animals that were produced in the building could be shown. As the Director of the complex, Don Traub felt it was imperative that a location within the building complex be converted to a climate-controlled, secured exhibit space. A dramatic increase in tourism and school groups required such a location, and a private collection of 23 restored carousel figures was waiting to fill the space.

Don's years of experience in all stages of the exhibit process helped secure state and private funding for the renovation of the interior space, as well as the design and installation of the exhibit. He served not only as the Project Manager but also as researcher, designer and accountant. Don conducted the necessary historical research utilizing the organization's museum/archival collections and private resources to develop the historical and exhibit narrative. At the same time he generated HVAC and security specifications for the conversion of the factory's Paint Room into a museum-quality exhibition space.

herschell carousel

As designer, Don successfully captured the spirit and excitement of the amusement park environment by incorporating many of the decorative elements originally used by the Herschell Factory on their carousels: lighting, brass, stenciling and graphics. An elevated platform with stenciled decorations, capped by a brass rail and a lighted, undulating backdrop wrapped the solid walls, while a large island platform was centrally located. Carousel animals with their accompanying graphics and labels were arranged in chronological sequence around the perimeter of the room, and the island held a collection of animals and a chariot that exhibited outstanding decorative style. Don recruited and supervised the volunteer labor that built and installed this award-winning exhibit.


Project Date: 1990
Exhibition Size: 3,500 sq .ft.
Services Rendered:
  • Project Management
  • Historical Research
  • Collection Management
  • Exhibit Design
  • Supervision of Fabrication & Installation
  • Exhibit HVAC & Security Specifications
  • Exhibit Historic Narrative & Collection List
  • Exhibit Lighting, Concept & Construction Drawings
State Award Winner:
  • New York State Museum Association - 1990