Restore Oregon has some very happy news to share!
Back in 2012, after delighting generations of Oregonians, first at the Jantzen Beach Amusement Park, and later at Jantzen Beach Center, the Jantzen Beach Carouselwas dismantled. With the carousel’s whereabouts unknown, concerned citizens feared it would be sold off, so Restore Oregon placed the carousel on our list of Oregon’s Most Endangered Places.
With the help of Commissioner Nick Fish and others, Restore Oregon not only “found” the carousel safely in storage, but in 2017, we took ownership of this amazing piece of our history and set out to “Re-TURN” it to the people of Portland. Our mission was to preserve the carousel and find a permanent new home for it where it would be protected and accessible to all.
With 72 hand-carved horses and 2 chariots...
The Jantzen Beach Carousel is one of the biggest C.W. Parker carousels ever built. And this posed a challenge: we needed a very large space to house it. Even more, we needed a partner who thought big, had a big vision for Portland, and could execute on a big scale. Restore Oregon is delighted to share that we have found that partner!
A perfect pairing!
Today Restore Oregon is thrilled to announce we’re teaming up with the Portland Diamond Project, to incorporate our beloved carousel into their plans for a Major League Baseball stadium and entertainment district in Portland.
What a perfect pairing! Major League Baseball and the Jantzen Beach Carousel are both deeply rooted in history and tradition. Family-focused. Multi-generational. Kids, parents, grandparents and people from all walks of life coming together. Joyful. Authentic. American.
A lot of groundwork has been laid to get to this point.
In the two years since taking ownership of the Carousel, Restore Oregon has:
- Conducted extensive research and identified nearly 40 cities with development projects centered around historic carousels.
- Explored dozens of potential sites in the Portland Metro Area.
- Created an operating model that shows the carousel can turn a profit.
- Worked with local architecture firms to create 3 pavilion design concepts.
- Commissioned a condition assessment of the entire carousel.
- Prepared a detailed road map to guide restoration of the carousel.
- And raised funds to pay for all this work while storing and insuring this priceless icon that blends together art, engineering, Portland history and childhood wonder.
One could say we’ve hit a Grand Slam!
Now we enter a new phase with the best teammates we could imagine. Our sincere thanks to Craig Cheek and the Portland Diamond Project team for partnering with us to provide the carousel with a wonderful new home.
Thank you also to the many volunteers, donors and funders who have supported our efforts to re-TURN the carousel to our community, including our Blue Ribbon Committee, the Restore Oregon Board, the Restore Oregon staff, in-kind donors, and finally - individual donors and foundations, with a special shout out to our anonymous donor at the Oregon Community Foundation. We cannot say THANK YOU enough!
Last but not least, we would like to thank Mayor Wheeler for facilitating the original connection between Restore Oregon and PDP.
At a time when so many of the places that tell the story of Portland’s rich and diverse history are being lost, re-turning the Jantzen Beach Carousel offers a wonderful example of how our community can create a vibrant future that also embraces our past. Thank you all!
Donate Today: https://restoreoregon.tofinoauctions.com/carousel
Posted: February 12, 2020
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