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The carousel at the Casino Arcade in Seaside Heights, N.J. / Thomas P. Costello, Asbury Park (N.J.) Press

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. - There could be hope for those wishing the historic Casino Pier Carousel stays in one piece.

Guernsey's, the New York City-based auction house tasked with selling the attraction, said it has yet to formalize a date for the sale in hopes of finding a buyer who will keep the carousel intact.

"We have not secured a buyer yet, but we are still working very hard to find someone interested in purchasing the carousel intact," said Jessica Weeg, spokeswomen for Guernsey's. "For that reason, we have not yet started looking at dates for the auction."

Late last month, the owners of Casino Pier, which include Vincent Storino and his family, decided to sell their iconic carousel in an auction. The owners said the current economy forced them to look for a new home for the ride.

For Louis White, 28, of Toms River, the lack of a date for the auction is a good sign. After hearing about plans to auction off of the attraction last month, White took to Facebook and created "Save the Antique Carousel," a page dedicated to saving the ride. On the Facebook page, supporters are posting photographs as well as recounting their memories from the attraction. The page has more than 3,700 followers.

"Considering the reasons for the auction of the carousel, I am optimistic this piece of history will remain in one piece," White said.

The Dr. Floyd L. Moreland Dentzel/Looff Carousel, as it's known, has been in Seaside Heights since 1932. Built in 1910, it initially was located at Burlington Island Park near the Delaware River. A 1928 fire destroyed most of that amusement park, but only partially damaged the carousel. It was fixed, disassembled and moved to Seaside Heights at the height of the Great Depression.

It is named after Moreland, 71, who lives nearby in Toms River Moreland oversaw the restoration of the badly deteriorated carousel in the 1980s. His friends and family spent countless weekends inside the then-unheated carousel building in the offseason, painstakingly repairing more than 50 horses and two chariots, as well as the two camels, one lion and one tiger that made up the merry-go-round's menagerie.

Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey's, said he expects Casino Piers' carousel to fetch more than B&B Carousel from Coney Island in Brooklyn, which was sold to New York City for nearly $2 million in 2005. The Coney Island sale also was handled by Guernsey's, Ettinger said. No minimum price has been placed on the sale, he said. The ride is expected to stay open until auction, officials said.

Despite the lack of the sale date, White still fears that landmark attraction could still be sold in pieces.

"Let's face it: Storino wants it out, and out it will come," White said.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Carousel fans hope to keep iconic Jersey ride intact

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