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~The Carousel At Yerba Buena Roof Garden~

San Francisco, California


The Yerba Buena Looff Carousel, constructed
in 1906 by Charles Looff in Riverside, Rhode
Island, is said to have ventured around Tierra
del Fuego in order to reach its first home in Seattle, in 1907.


Looff's first West Coast amusement center, Luna
Park, built on wooden piers over the water,
burned in 1911.
The carousel was the only survivor.

The salvaged machine found a new home at
San Francisco's Ocean Beach, near the Cliff House in 1913.

The carousel began what was to become the
city's legendary Playland at the Beach.
Ironically, the machine was also the last ride to go at the park's demise in 1973.


Saved from the auctioneer's gavel by Marianne
Stevens of Roswell, New Mexico, the ride spent
ten years in storage before being brought to Long Beach.
It operated at Shoreline Village for over a dozen years.
The Shoreline Village Looff Carousel
CLOSED on January 11, 1998 and was relocated Yerba Buena Center..


~Click On Picture For More Carousel Music~




Considering it a lost cultural treasure,
San Francisco spent twenty years attempting to reclaim it.
They were successful in 1994, paying $1 million
for the carousel. It returned to regale San
Francisco in the new $2 billion Yerba Buena Center.
Yerba Buena Center For The Arts



San Francisco officials believe the carousel,
because of its close association with the city
and the affection held for it by generations of
San Franciscans, will be a major icon and tourist
destination, on a par with the Golden Gate
Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, the cable cars and the TransAmerica pyramid.


The carousel is 93 years old. The figures are
genuine, hand-carved antiques, not reproductions.
Only the paint is new. Each animal is constructed
of up to one hundred pieces of wood, sectioned
together like a Chinese puzzle and held together
with wooden dowels and hot animal glue -- no nails were used.
The jewels are cut glass from Belgium and the
eyes were designed by a taxidermist. The tails are genuine horse hair.



The carousel travels at a stately 8 miles per
hour. Its ten-ton weight is supported by a single
bearing atop the centerpole. It has a total capacity of over twenty tons.

The machine holds 64 figures, two chariots and
two gondolas the size of Volkswagens.
Obviously not a children's ride because of its
sheer size and history, today over two-thirds of
riders are adults. Throughout their history
carousels have been considered highly romantic.



This is the only existing carousel with a full
jumping menagerie of giraffes, camels and rams,
together with a standing lion. Its seating capacity is 85 adults.
The building in which the carousel resided at
Shoreline Village was a scaled down version of
the original Looff hippodrome located a quarter mile from there.

The Carousel in one of the largest and most elaborate carousels in existence..





Cottage Group Fantasy Graphics