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Deal Averts Sale Of Historic Seaside Heights Carousel

The carousel on the boardwalk at Seaside Heights, New Jersey was set to go up for auction. (Credit: CBS Philly)

The carousel on the boardwalk at Seaside Heights, New Jersey was set to go up for auction. (Credit: CBS Philly)

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SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The 82-year-old carousel on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, will not be going up for sale after all.

The carousel survived both Superstorm Sandy and the devastating fire a year ago, and in July, the company that owns the ride said it would be sold to make way for new attractions.

But Paul Kurtz of KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia reported Thursday that a deal has been reached to keep the carousel where it is. The borough trade a parcel it owns next to Casino Pier for a chunk of property the company owns a few blocks up the beach, CBS Philly reported.

Seaside Heights town administrator Chris Vaz told the station the deal is a win-win for both sides, enabling Casino Pier to expand its operation and the borough to take possession of the iconic merry-go-round that has entertained vacationers since 1932.

“We don’t know specifically where we would put it, once we take possession down the road,” Vaz told KYW Newsradio, “but we’re going to start a separate track where we’re going to be seeking state and federal grant money to build a structure that would house the carousel itself.”

The National Carousel Association said the Seaside Heights ride is one of only 212 classic wood carousels left in North America.

The 1910 Dentzel model, made by a Philadelphia family renowned for carousels, has 58 animals – 36 of which move up and down – and two benches.

The carousel also features a Wurlitzer band organ that operates with a pneumatic system, using a leather bellows and perforated music rolls that play its individual notes. While built-in organs are common on older carousels, newer models often replace them with recordings.

Vaz told KYW he was swamped with phone calls and messages, some tear-filled, from residents who were thrilled with the development that preserves the historic amusement in Seaside Heights.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)