PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Restore Oregon announced today it has stepped in to secure and save a national treasure, the historic Jantzen Beach Carousel. Joined by prominent Oregonians at a warehouse where the disassembled carousel is being safely stored, Restore Oregon is launching a campaign to Re-TURN the Jantzen Beach Carousel to the Portland metro area community and find it a new permanent home so it can "turn" once again as a year-round family attraction.
On September 1, 2017, Restore Oregon received the historic carousel as a donation made by the former owner of the Jantzen Beach Mall, EDENS, Inc. Restore Oregon will not serve as the long-term owner, but will now work with community leaders and the public to shepherd the 1904-built carousel to its new future.
"As Portland continues to change, the carousel may serve as an icon of Portland's past," said Restore Oregon Executive Director Peggy Moretti. "Given its unique four-row design and its memories to generations of residents, we have launched this campaign to breathe new life into the carousel and to see it passed forward to a new generation of locals and visitors."
Restore Oregon listed the carousel as one of its Most Endangered Places in 2012. This annual list spotlights Oregon's endangered places and their cultural and economic value. To revitalize and help save these places, Restore Oregon brings together rehabilitation expertise, resources and local support. Given the carousel's unique design, high level of historic significance and cultural value to generations of Portlanders, it found its way to Restore Oregon's Most Endangered Places list when it was dismantled, stored and no longer in operation.
"Restore Oregon works tirelessly to save our Most Endangered Places, our core program that is committed to preserving historic places across the state. We now have a unique opportunity to work hands-on with the Portland community to save the beloved carousel that has been in our area since 1928," said Moretti. "We created this campaign to provide Portlanders the opportunity to ensure the carousel has a bright future. We are asking the public to show support for the carousel by sharing cherished memories, photos and videos on social media, becoming a Restore Oregon member, and contributing financially to our ongoing preservation efforts."
Said Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish: "Returning the Jantzen Beach Carousel to a permanent home in Portland is a historic opportunity. The carousel is a family-friendly attraction and an important part of our city's history. With the help of Restore Oregon, community members, public-spirited businesses, developers, nonprofits, and our local government partners, the Jantzen Beach Carousel can become Portland's next great attraction, bringing smiles to future generations of children. Let's re-turn the carousel to Portland."
Blue Ribbon Committee Formed
A Re-TURN the Jantzen Beach Carousel Blue Ribbon Committee has been formed to lead this public campaign. The committee will contact individuals and organizations that might be interested in the carousel, encourage donors to fund Restore Oregon's carousel effort, and help chaperone the carousel to its new owner.
Former Oregon State Senator Margaret Carter remembers frequently taking her children to ride the carousel: "This was a wonderful, affordable way for families to go have affordable fun. That should be our goal for the future. It's all about family."
Honorary co-chairs of the committee are Margaret Carter and Oregon "Premier Citizen" Gerry Frank. Other members include Nick Fish, Portland City Commissioner; former Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts; Jessie Burke, The Society Hotel; Marilyn Clint, Portland Rose Festival; Jane DeMarco, People & Process Fixes; Richard De Wolf, Arciform LLC/Versatile Wood Products; Roy Fox, Restore Oregon; Amy Keiter, Carousel Rider; Thomas Lauderdale, Pink Martini; Mike Lindberg, former Portland City Commissioner; Jonathan Nicholas, Moda Health; Rick Michaelson, Inner City Properties, Inc.; Mary Oberst, former First Lady of Oregon; Kerry Tymchuk, Oregon Historical Society; and Lee Weinstein of Weinstein PR. Others are expected to be added to the committee.
Portland/Vancouver Residents Asked to Support the Campaign; Share Their Memories
Area residents are invited to help Re-TURN the Jantzen Beach Carousel by taking action:
- Share their favorite Jantzen Beach Carousel memories, photos and videos at Facebook.com/restoreoregon; share at Instagram.com/restoreoregon using the hashtags #returnthecarousel #restoreoregon
- Visit restoreoregon.org/carousel to sign up for updates and contribute financial support to Restore Oregon's effort
About Restore Oregon: Founded in 1977, Restore Oregon is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that advocates for sound preservation policy and legislation. The organization's mission is to preserve, reuse and pass forward the historic places that create livable communities. Each year, Restore Oregon provides statewide educational programming and technical assistance, while working to save the sites and structures featured on its annual list of Oregon's Most Endangered Places. Restore Oregon holds over 40 conservation easements on historic properties, thereby protecting them in perpetuity. Learn more at www.restoreoregon.org, Facebook.com/RestoreOregon and Instagram.com/RestoreOregon
About the C.W. Parker Carousel: The historic C.W. Parker Carousel has been a Portland-area fixture for nearly 85 years, synonymous with family fun and childhood joy. Installed in 1928 on Hayden Island as a main attraction of the Jantzen Beach Amusement Park, the carousel has outlasted the park itself, spinning over 30 million riders since it arrived in Oregon. Despite this history, the last ride on the carousel was on April 22, 2012, after which it was disassembled and put into storage with no foreseeable plan for its return to the public. It remains securely stored, but its future depends on finding a new site.
The carousel is one of the biggest, fastest, oldest wooden carousels left in the world. It is four horses abreast with 72 horses in total, weighs approximately 20 tons and has a diameter of 67 feet, and needs to be housed indoors. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987 but was delisted in 2008 when plans to move it to the Portland Children's Museum did not go through.
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- Re-TURN the Jantzen Beach Carousel Press Kit here (goo.gl/pkhpwD)
- Jantzen Beach Carousel and Brooklyn, New York's Jane's Carousel photos here (goo.gl/tt8D1F)
SOURCE Restore Oregon