PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — From the swan boat rentals to the disc golf course, Slater Park in Pawtucket offers many amenities to residents and visitors.
But the park’s iconic 124-year-old carousel has been closed for repairs since March.
Pawtucket’s Project Leader Joe Morais said that’s because additional funding in the city’s building bond has allowed for more repairs than initially expected.
Morais said the original plan just included replacing the roof. After the city received the additional funding, he said additional repairs – from cosmetic to structural – were scheduled.
“It’s an old structure, they don’t them like this anymore,” Morais said.
While the recent heatwave did slow down roof repairs, Morais said most of the delays have come from the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission.
“They have to review, advise and approve every piece of the scope of work,” Morais explained. “Without their permission, we can’t move forward. This project would have been done sooner, but because we didn’t have approval at that time, we had to push it back a couple of months.”
Wil Arboleda with the city of Pawtucket said an easement on the property also contributed to the delay.
Director of Pawtucket’s Department of Public Works Eric Earls tells Eyewitness News he is impressed with the repairs made so far.
“It’s looking beautiful,” Earls said. “It gives the people of Pawtucket a sense of pride.”
Earls said so far, the front steps of the carousel have been rebuilt and all of the windows – including the stained-glass windows – are now being restored by hand.
But the question remains: When will it re-open?
According to Morais, the carousel should be fully repaired by mid-September, just in time for the city’s 21st Art’s Fest.
For more information on when the carousel is open regularly, visit the city’s website.
This story has been edited from its original version to correct the name of the organization involved in the restoration approval process. The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission oversaw that process.