WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The restoration of a 1949 piece of history is spinning once again. The 70 year old historic carousel is up and running in its new home.
The Botanica Gardens has been working on the carousel which was donated to it from Joyland in 2014. The restoration took five years and $2.4 million dollars to complete.
The Botanica Gardens executive director says this is the first time the carousel has operated since it was a part of Joyland Park in 2006. While the carousel is operational, its not quite ready for the public to ride.
“This is the first time that it’s been up and running” said Marty Miller, Botanica Gardens Executive Director. “So, we’ve actually had it operating for about a month, but we are still waiting on parts to make it complete so it can pass inspection.”
The carousel restoration has been a long process, with many people contributing their time and resources into preserving its original design.
“It’s really been an honor to work on this project,” said Tina Murano, Artist of Tina Murano Studios. “The designs on the outside we tried to honor and kind of mimic what was going on inside of the building.”
The building that houses the carousel is made up of glass windows to incorporate the gardens outside, but also to display the carousel like a ‘jewel in a jewel box.’
Miller says this 40 foot, 36 horse carousel is not like any other carousel because it accommodates everyone.
“It will have two chariots on it, and the chariots are still yet to come, but they will be adaptable to wheelchairs,” said Miller. “We will be able to accommodate wheelchairs on this carousel. It will be the first time in history that that’s been done with this particular carousel.”
The carousel building has a party room that can hold 50 to 60 people and $3 dollar tokens can be purchased to ride the carousel.
Miller says the carousel will be open to the public after Thanksgiving, but for now, it is visible to the public from the outside of the building.