Restore Oregon announced Thursday 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. 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.”