Jantzen Beach Carousel, Portland
- Location: Jantzen Beach Center, Portland
- Built: 1921
- Built By: C.W. Parker Amusement Co.
- Designation: Formerly listed in National Register of Historic Places
- Significance: Although built in Kansas and located in California in the early 1920s, the Carousel has been a fixture of North Portland’s Hayden Island since the opening of Jantzen Beach Amusement Park in 1928. The Carousel is eligible for relisting in the National Register.
News and Updates
Location and condition of carousel cannot be verified
No update available on status of carousel
Carousel owner will take no action until Columbia River Crossing issue is resolved
May 10, 2013
Kudos to Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish, who stepped up on behalf of efforts to save the carousel. After months of receiving no response from Edens, a dialogue was started. We are cautiously optimistic this icon will be relocated in Portland and passed forward to future generations. At this moment, it remains in storage.
April 4, 2013
Elected leaders from Metro, Multnomah County, and City of Portland calling meeting to determine options for restoration.
January 8, 2013
Restore Oregon and local advocates meeting with policy-makers to identify potential relocation options, should carousel not be returned to Jantzen Beach
Edens confirms dismantled carousel is being stored on Jantzen Beach
July 19, 2012
Home for Jantzen Beach carousel unclear in shadow of Columbia River Crossing
Outlet: The Oregonian
July 1, 2012
Carousel has been dismantled and building demolished. Restore Oregon working with local partners to find strategy for reuse.
The Jantzen Beach Carousel was built by the Charles Wallace Parker Company in Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1921. C.W. Parker was the self-described “American Amusement King,” building only three or four carousels the size of the one on Jantzen Beach.
When the Carousel arrived in Portland in 1928, it was one of 28 rides located at the Jantzen Beach Amusement Park, known locally as the “Million Dollar Playground.” From 1928 into the 1960s the Amusement Park was frequented by up to 725,000 people annually, however, by 1970 attendance had dipped to the point that the Park was closed.
In 1972 the Jantzen Beach Center mall replaced the Park, keeping a relocated Carousel as a reminder of the property’s past. In 1995 the carousel and each of its 72 horses were carefully restored and reincorporated into Jantzen Beach Center.
Why It’s Endangered
On April 22, 2012, the Carousel was closed to the public in anticipation of a $50 million remodel of the Jantzen Beach Center by EDENS, a South Carolina-based developer and real estate holding company.
While EDENS has publically committed to retaining the Carousel on-site at Jantzen Beach Center, the firm’s site plans do not show a dedicated location for the Carousel.
Given the Carousel’s unique design and high-level of significance to generations of Portlanders, its continued operation on Hayden Island is critical to passing forward the last remnant of the property’s former life as an amusement park and to creating a unique shopping destination for Oregonians and Washingtonians alike.