Non-Residential Projects: Mill River Park Carousel

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Mill River Park Carousel

  • 2018 HOBI Award Winner - Best New Commercial Building Overall


Mill River Park is a 12 Acre public/private urban park located in Stamford, run by the Mill River Collaborative on land donated by the City of Stamford, Ct. The Carousel Pavilion designed by architect firm Gray Organschi was the winning concept from a competitive open idea solicitation for the site.

The uniquely shaped 4,900 square foot carousel building became an integral part of the larger scheme of Mill River Park. The glass pavilion building, which is an attraction in its own right, houses the hand-crafted carousel and is dramatically lit by a dynamic wood oculus integrated into the ceiling above, which provides architectural interest. The carousel provides year-round entertainment for children of all ages. It is like a piece of art with its 30 hand carved wood figures and two handicapped-accessible chariots. Each of the animals represented on the carousel are native species found in the area and included a mix of horses, birds, fish and insects.

So, with such a unique design, specialty features and parts coming from Canada- what could go wrong! As previously mentioned, the Mill River Collaborative and the City of Stamford collaborated. The City of Stamford has a strict requirement that all city projects must be competitively bid, and the job awarded to the lowest bidder. This became a major issue since the winning bidder neither had the expertise nor the technical ability to construct this piece of ART. After missing every deadline for 18 + months, the Mill River Collaborative Board had no choice but to ask Paul Stone from Karp Associates to get the project back on track. Who better than Paul to work on the specialty items and see it through to completion? As Arnold Karp is the co-chairman of the charity, this allowed excellent supervision by a skilled team.