You might not have noticed in the long holiday weekend shuffle, but the day before Thanksgiving, the Western Reserve Historical Society officially opened the restored and full functional Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel to the public. Admission to the museum entitles you to two free rides, so you know.
the old beauty looked like back in the day. Above is what it looks like now. A little history, for the uninitiated, on how we got here, from the News-Herald:
Those among the paying public lucky enough to land the first two-and-a-half minute ride will be part of history. Watching that history somewhere close will surely be John Frato, the project’s point man and president of Euclid Beach Now.
“It’s been a challenge, but a labor of love,” said Frato, when asked to describe the restoration.
The Grand Carousel was built in 1910 by the Philedelphia Toboggan Company and referred to as “The finest carousel ever made.” It was one of the park’s most popular rides until it closed in 1969. It featured 58 horses that were hand-carved from wood. Of those 58 horses, 54 were restored and painted by Carousel Works in Mansfield and are part of the ride.
When Euclid Beach Park closed in 1969, the horses were stored in Maine. In 1997, they were auctioned and returned to Cleveland, where a restoration process, spearheaded by the WRHS, began. In 2012, a glass pavilion was built to house the Grand Carousel. According to Frato, the total cost of the restoration was $2 million.