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Historic Euclid Beach Carousel Rides Again

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at 4:48 PM

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Plans are afoot for this horse to give you a ride.

A piece of Northeast Ohio history is about to be unpacked and brought back to life. A plan was announced Wednesday to reassemble a century-old carousel that spent decades at a famous Cleveland amusement park... and start it spinning again in University Circle. ideastream®'s David C. Barnett has more.

Although Euclid Beach Park has been closed for over forty years, antiques expert Terry Kovel says its roots run deep.

KOVEL: You can’t talk to anybody who lived in Cleveland before 1960 who hasn’t been to Euclid Beach.  Every Sunday school, every church, everybody had meeting out there. 

Kovel is a member of a group that developed a plan to revive Euclid Beach’s 1910-vintage carousel, which has led an itinerant life since the storied amusement park closed in 1969.  The ride was first shipped to a park in Maine, where it was a central attraction for 30 years.  After THAT park closed, the carousel changed hands a few more times - eventually landing back in Cleveland at the Western Reserve Historical Society, where it’s been sitting in storage for the last decade. 

During that time there was a major lobbying effort to bring it back to the old Euclid Beach site, in the North Collinwood ward of councilman Michael Polensek.

POLENSEK: The thing that had to happen with that is you needed to have a year-round venue. That’s the problem we lacked at that site.

Now the plan is to rebuild the carousel on the grounds of the Historical Society and open it to the public for a couple bucks a ride. 

POLENSEK: Here you have a year-round venue, here you have the protection, here you have the security --- you have everything..

A six million dollar fund raising campaign will soon be launched to help with construction and to provide an endowment for ongoing maintenance.  Organizers plan to have the ride rolling by 2013. 

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Arts and Culture, Government/Politics, Other, Community/Human Interest

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