Restore Oregon plans to bring back Jantzen Beach Carousel

Restore Oregon is trying to bring back the Jantzen Beach Carousel. (KOIN)
Restore Oregon is trying to bring back the Jantzen Beach Carousel. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The historic Jantzen Beach Carousel closed in April 2012, but now there’s a push to bring the carousel — which is currently stored as pieces in a warehouse — back to the Portland area.

Restore Oregon is trying to bring back the Jantzen Beach Carousel. (KOIN)
Restore Oregon is trying to bring back the Jantzen Beach Carousel. (KOIN)

Restore Oregon announced Thursday a campaign to revive the carousel.

“As Portland continues to change, the carousel may serve as an icon of Portland’s past,” Restore Oregon Executive Director Peggy Moretti said in a statement. “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.”

When it comes to the carousel, historic is certainly the right word to use. It was created by a Kansas team of carvers back in 1904 for the St. Louis World’s Fair. After that it headed to Venice Beach, California, before it moved to Oregon in 1928.

The Carousel’s pieces were donated to Restore Oregon by its former owners of the Jantzen Beach Mall, where the carousel moved after the amusement park was closed in 1972.

Now, Restore Oregon is hoping to write a new chapter in the carousel’s story. The next objective is finding a place to put it.

“It’s also a plan and an operations model,” Moretti told KOIN 6 news. “Real estate isn’t cheap in the Portland area right now so we know it’s going to take a concerted effort and a community wide effort to make this happen.”