Groups plan re-opening of Euclid Beach Park carousel


CLEVELAND — Western Reserve Historical Society announces a collaborative effort with area groups and individuals to establish the historic Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel within the walls of the University Circle institution where it will be available to ride as soon as 2013.

Cleveland’s Euclid Beach Park Carousel Society and Euclid Beach Park Now have proposed the partnership with Western Reserve Historical Society, which owns the nostalgic and valuable carousel horses and chariots. The plan includes a $6 million fundraising campaign to rebuild the carousel at WRHS and provide an endowment to ensure its operations.


The plan envisions the Carousel Society undertaking a six-year fundraising campaign with $2 million targeted for carousel restoration and installation on the main floor of the WRHS University Circle Complex at East Boulevard and East 108th Street. The remaining $4 million would provide an endowment to support the carousel.

The project produces long-term benefits to the neighborhood, city and region as well as WRHS as it creates another destination point in University Circle, contributes to local and area economic development efforts and provides a family-friendly activity at WRHS.

Placing the Carousel in WRHS is the best choice, according to Carousel Society co-director Raymond Rackley.

“With 2.5 million annual visitors to University Circle, we believe the carousel will be self-sustaining while contributing to the future of WRHS and the surrounding cultural institutions.”


Euclid Beach Park Now, another long-time proponent of re-establishing the carousel, says it decided to support the Carousel Society plan because it lives up to the original vision of the Humphrey family — owners of Cleveland’s old Euclid Beach Park.

“It’s all about providing for the future of the carousel while making it accessible to the public,” said John Frato, president of Euclid Beach Park Now. “This plan offers financial and physical protection of the carousel, protects its history and provenance, and makes it accessible to people of all ages and abilities.”

The plan envisions carousel rides for $1 to $2, annual low-cost memberships allowing unlimited free use and making the carousel handicap-accessible. Preliminary plans also include placing the carousel in a new glassed-in area of WRHS so passers-by may see it and enjoy it from the street.

“This project is exactly in line with the WRHS mission of sharing our northeast Ohio past and drawing from it to build new memories,” Davis said. “This is just what WRHS wants and needs right now: a project that puts a smile on people’s faces.”


The Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel was built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1910 and operated at Euclid Beach Park in Cleveland’s Collinwood neighborhood until the park closed in 1969. It was sold to an amusement park in Maine where it operated for 28 years.

Cleveland’s Trust for Public Land bought the carousel horses and chariots in 1997. Cleveland Tomorrow raised funds to restore the 58 horses and 2 chariots, in collaboration with WRHS. The restored horses and chariots were gifted to WRHS in 1999. Some are periodically displayed; most remain in storage.


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