Harry C. Baker was a gifted ride builder who also managed the former Rexford Park (1906-1933) in Schenectady, New York.  With his headquarters at the park, he did most of his coaster and funhouse building on the East Coast. In 1922 he was commissioned by Crescent Park to build the Comet (also known as the Whippet) coaster at the far end of the park near the Alhambra Ballroom. It is not known when he installed Crescent Park’s funhouse but it could have been in the same time frame. Baker had constructed a similar funhouse at his Schenectady Park and perhaps he pitched Crescent Park management on the project.
Funhouse Crescent Park
The Crescent Park funhouse, located near the front of the Alhambra and flanked by a track of small, motorized cars, was chock full of obstacles that would make today’s personal injury attorneys salivate. The infamous spinning wheel that flung patrons into the padded side walls, moving walkways, wooden slides and a barrel of fun. It was the typical fare of a funhouse of that era. No records of the funhouse’s demise exist but it’s believed to have operated at least into the mid-1940s.
Funhouse interior Harry Baker Crescent Park
Of interest is that after the 1938 hurricane destroyed most of Baker’s Crescent Park Comet, one of his carpenters, Ed Leis, was commissioned to not only rebuild the ride but completely redesign its profile. With the launch of his new Comet in 1939, Leis, who settled in Riverside, launched his career as a coaster builder and designer for National Amusement Devices. The coaster was eventually renamed the Zephyr and ran through the 1961 season.
Funhouse Crescent Park


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