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News / Clark County News

Carousel could be part of Portland ballpark

The Columbian
Published: February 12, 2020, 6:01am

The carousel that was an iconic attraction for more than 80 years at Jantzen Beach has found a new home — maybe.

Restore Oregon, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving Oregon’s historic places, and the Portland Diamond Project announced Tuesday that the Jantzen Beach Carousel could be incorporated into plans for a Major League Baseball development along the Willamette River in northwest Portland.

Portland is considered a prime location for big league baseball, either an expansion team or relocation of an existing franchise, but the city lacks a suitable ballpark.

In November 2018, Portland Diamond Project announced it has signed an agreement in principle with the Port of Portland to develop the port’s 45-acre Terminal 2 property, 556 N.W. Front Ave. The group has since received two six-month extensions to that agreement.

In March 2019, Restore Oregon said it wanted to revitalize the historic carousel and that Vancouver was a possible destination for the restored attraction. Talk of placing the carousel in Vancouver appears to have been scuttled by Tuesday’s announcement that the carousel could be located adjacent to a future ballpark.

C.W. Parker built the Jantzen Beach Carousel in 1904 for the St. Louis World’s Fair. The carousel spent some time in Venice, Calif., before becoming a part of the Jantzen Beach Amusement Park when it opened in 1928. The park closed in 1970, but the carousel was incorporated into the shopping center that replaced the amusement park, until the carousel was dismantled and stored in April 2012.

Over the next year, Restore Oregon will launch a full-scale restoration of the carousel’s 72 handcarved horses to ensure their longevity for another 100 years.