The Historic Carousel at the Woodland Park Zoo
For lovers of historic carousels, the Woodland Park Zoo has one of the best. Enclosed in a special building, the carousel has been lovingly restored and it is a museum quality attraction that you can ride. This ride was built in 1918 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company for the Cincinnati Zoo. The carousel is 50 feet in diameter and has 48 hand-carved horses and two gorgeous chariots. For two dollars, you can have a delightful spin on this historic amusement ride.
Here are a few facts about the carousel:
- It was made by the Philadelpia Toboggan Company in 1918. This company changed its name to Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters and it is the second oldest roller coaster company in the world.
- This is the 45th carousel made by Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters and it is designated "PTC 45".
- It features 28 jumping horses, 20 stationary horses, and two elaborate chariots
- All of the horses are different
- A one-of-a-kind carousel horse features two griffins on each side of its saddle
- The carvings were by John Zalar, nicknamed the “Michelangelo of carousel carvers”
- The carousel is enclosed by an all-weather pavilion that is 80 feet in diameter
- Of the approximately 4,000 carved carousels that were made from 1890 to 1925, only around 150 survive
History of the Woodland Park Zoo Carousel:
- 1918 to 1974 Cincinnati Zoo
- 1974 to 1995 Paramount’s Great America in Santa Clara, California
- 1996 Acquired by Tom and Linda Allen of the Alleniana Foundation. The Carousel was donated "in trust" to the Zoological Foundation by the Alleniana Foundation.
- Fund raising commences to build a shelter for the Carousel
- 2006 Carousel begins operation at the Woodland Park Zoo
The air-conditioned and solar-powered pavilion housing the carousel
One of the two elaborate chariots
This flag draped horse is really colorful and unique
In researching the history of this carousel, I noted that several carousel historians commented on this one-of-a-kind pair of griffins adorning this saddle
This magnificent dark blue horse sports a white rabbit draped on the saddle.
This horse with the cute dog on it was one of my favorites on the carousel
The clown on this horse is really cute
One of my favorite horses sported a magnificent lion (see detail photo below)
This light gray stallion with a mythical sea monster shield caught my attention
The Indian chief and the quiver of arrows stand out on this slate blue horse
The dark and light colors on this horse were really stunning
I hope your enjoyed the photos of this magnificent carousel.