Historic Carousel in Balboa Park is Purchased by Local Nonprofit

| July 29, 2017 | 0 Comments

Adults and children alike enjoy the carousel, which has been a Adults and children alike enjoy the carousel, which has been a part of San Diego for over 100 years. of San Diego for over 100 years.

Friends of Balboa Park, a local nonprofit organization, has announced that it is acquiring the historic Balboa Park Carousel that has entertained San Diegans since 1913. The sale closed escrow on June 30, 2017, and will poise the nonprofit to maintain uninterrupted operation of the Balboa Park Carousel.

“The carousel was one of very few privately owned assets in Balboa Park, and our taking over its ownership aligns perfectly with Friends’ mission to preserve and maintain the Park for future generations to come,” said Friends of Balboa Park Executive Director John Bolthouse. “Since 1999, Friends has partnered with the City Parks & Recreation Department to help fund projects throughout the Park, and the carousel is our largest undertaking yet. We need the public’s support in funding the endeavor, and are looking forward to continuing to the carousel being in the spotlight, just as was intended more than a century ago.”

Friends of Balboa Park is an affinity group that enhances and maintains The Park through donations and Park programs. The group has spearheaded major capital improvement initiatives throughout The Park, including information kiosks, restoration of the historic gate houses and lily pond, Adopt-A-Plot, bench tributes, tree dedications, and other programs that facilitate the community’s direct involvement in the enhancement of Balboa Park. For more information, visit www.friendsofbalboapark.

Located off Park Boulevard and Zoo Place, the carousel has been privately owned for more than 100 years by a few different San Diego families. Current owner, Bill Steen, and his family have owned the carousel for more than 40 years.

“We have decided to sell to the carousel a San Diego organization who would appreciate and maintain it for future generations,” said Steen. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with Friends to help preserve this shining gem for the ‘Jewel of San Diego’ for people from around the world to enjoy.”

The Balboa Park carousel is a menagerie model, which means it has more than just horses for the figures. All of the menagerie animals are original hand-carved English linden wood made with fine European craftsmanship. Also original are the hand-painted murals surrounding the upper portion of the carousel and the military band music.

To support the capital campaign, visit www.BalboaParkCarousel.org.

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