Spokane's Historic Looff Carrousel

Spokane's Historic Looff Carrousel

JDubman
Description
On July 18, 1909, the Looff Carrousel began operation in Spokane's Natatorium Park, an amusement park developed by Washington Water Power on the bank of the Spokane River on the west side of Spokane. It was designed by master builder of hand-carved carousels Charles I.D. Looff, who designed over 40 carousels in the US including the first carousel at Coney Island. The carousel was a wedding gift to Looff’s daughter Emma Vogel and her husband Louis Vogel, a Spokane banker and longtime owner of Natatorium Park. In 1967 the park closed and its rides were dismantled and sold. The carousel avoided the same fate and was instead put into storage. Negotiations occurred to sell the it to the city so it could be used in the upcoming world’s fair, Expo `74. Ultimately it was decided not to use the carousel in Expo due to fears that a high volume of riders would put too much strain on the equipment and old wooden animals. Instead a structure was constructed to be used as a Bavarian restaurant for the fair, and afterwards, the building could be used to permanently house the carousel. On May 8, 1975, the Looff Carousel opened in its new home at Riverfront Park. A couple of years later, on September 19, 1977, in recognition of its historic and artistic value it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. On-going restorations, modernizations, and maintenance have preserved this treasure and as a result it continues to give rides with all of its original figures. #74 #Carousel #Carrousel #Downtown #Expo_1974 #Historic #Looff #Riverfront_Park #Spokane #Washington #worlds_fair
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