One of many hand-carved animals you can ride on the carousel at Coolidge Park
Dear Curious at the Carousel,
Though the carousel has resided at Coolidge Park for only two decades, you’re right in guessing that its history goes back further than that – more than a century, in fact!
The ride has a storied history that began nearly 130 years ago in Pennsylvania. It was built in 1894 by the G.A. Dentzel Company, an American carousel builder, in the style of the earliest and most famous carousel model in the country. The ride carries on the legacy of the company’s founder and namesake Gustav Dentzel, a German immigrant and skilled woodworker who popularized the now widely loved carousel in America and revolutionized the ride’s design.
Once completed, the carousel began operating in the state of New York and was later transferred to Atlanta, Georgia. Here, the ride was enjoyed by many until a lack of funding and the sale of carousel animals as collectibles led the structure to fall into disrepair in the 1960s. It continued to be housed in Atlanta, but at the time, the ride’s future certainly looked bleak.