The hand-carved carousel that entertained the masses at historic Euclid Beach Park, though hasn't operated in decades, is getting a makeover. The newly restored gem is set for a November unveiling at the Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS
) in University Circle.
When the restored 1910 Euclid Beach Grand Carousel opens in the Glass Pavilion of the History Center, it will be one of the few working carousels in town. Visitors will be able to purchase a ticket to ride what was deemed "the finest carousel ever made" when it first debuted over a century ago.
"This project has been 13 or 14 years in the making," says Alyssa Purvis, Communications Assistant with WRHS. "We still have people coming in and saying, 'I have a picture of my mom standing next to that horse. It's in my wallet.'"
The carousel also introduces a major new amenity to University Circle, providing yet another reason to visit WRHS. This nonprofit institution has undergone major renovations to its Crawford Auto Aviation Room to help reach a new audience and recently garnered a "Building the Circle" award from University Circle Inc.
The restoration of the historic carousel was undertaken in collaboration with the Cleveland Carousel Society, which helped recover the carousel from a park in Maine. The carousel operated in the Collinwood neighborhood of Cleveland from 1910 to 1969, when Euclid Beach Park, a major attraction for generations of Clevelanders, shut down.
The colossal structure is remarkable, and it's housed in a stunning, light-filled room. The horses, which are some of the largest wooden carousel horses in the country, according to Purvis, are captured in dynamic running and jumping poses. Surrounding the horses are hand-painted chariots that also have been recently refurbished.
The carousel is being restored by Carousel Works in Mansfield, Ohio. It will also feature a massive automated music box that soon will crank back to life.
"The park was a real landmark in Northeast Ohio," says Purvis. "We felt that it was important to keep the carousel here in Cleveland and to make it run again."
WRHS has announced that the carousel will be ready to ride on November 22nd.
Source: Alyssa Purvis
Writer: Lee Chilcote