CLEVELAND -- The Euclid Beach Grand carousel will spin again in Cleveland.
There was a groundbreaking Tuesday for the reconstruction of the historic Euclid Beach carousel at the corner of East Boulevard and East 108th Street in University Circle.
The groundbreaking marks the beginning of construction of an all-glass pavilion to house the carousel. As soon as late 2013, two local nonprofit carousel organizations expect to complete their $2 million project to build the pavilion, restore the carousel, and place it within the new glass structure attached to the Western Reserve Historical Society History Center.
The public will be able to ride the original, restored carousel horses once again.
Visitors to the carousel will enter from the WRHS Crawford Auto Aviation Collection Gallery through a reconstructed version of the main grand gate of Euclid Beach Park. Work to restore and rebuild the carousel is already underway with Carousel Works of Mansfield.
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 currently on display at WRHS while the others remain in storage. The photos on this story were taken of several that are in storage.
The company is renowned worldwide for wooden carousel construction and restoration. Organizers estimate it will take about a year following completion of the pavilion construction to finish the carousel restoration and have it operational at WRHS.
Cleveland's Euclid Beach Park Carousel Society and Euclid Beach Park Now are the organizations behind the project that was announced in June 2010, but first dreamt many years before that, particularly by Carousel Society Chair Terry Kovel.
"This is one of the few working carousels still in its original town," Kovel said. "I remember the fun and excitement when I rode a horse as a child at Euclid Beach. Soon it will bring joy to thousands of people young and old."
The Carousel Society and Euclid Beach Park Now proposed the partnership with WRHS after determining University Circle was the best location for the carousel, and particularly within WRHS since it owns the horses and chariots and has the expertise to oversee their care.
Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects designed the "jewel box" pavilion to clearly display the beauty and energy of the carousel to the exterior.
Key Private Banking is providing the financing for the $1.4 million pavilion project.
Scaparotti Construction Group is the general contractor. The sloping, glass-walled pavilion will measure 75 feet in diameter and 32 feet high with a thin, cantilevered roof plane. It will showcase the carousel which will measure 50 feet in diameter and 25 feet high.
John Frato, president of Euclid Beach Park Now, is excited by the prospect of the carousel finally getting its long awaited rebirth.
"Euclid Beach Park Now membership has worked tirelessly to see this project through," Frato said.
"This carousel is an important piece of Cleveland history. Once this physical artifact from Euclid Beach Park is brought back to life, the Park's rich history can be shared and appreciated by future generations of Greater Clevelanders."