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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Tourism for Locals: LeRoy King Carousel Takes Locals for a Spin

Posted By on Thu, Apr 2, 2015 at 1:30 PM

  • Juan De Anda

No matter how old we get, San Franciscans will never stop being kids at heart —even when we get jaded and bitter from the rise of the cost of living. We're a city fostered in the spirit of youthful (albeit, child-like) creativity and enthusiasm.

For those looking to put a spin on their routine or seeking out an inexpensive excursion down Memory Lane , there's one location to go to unleash that inner child: The 109-year-old LeRoy King Carousel

Built in 1906, this intricately hand carved merry-go-round (carousels are comprised of solely horses) was constructed in Rhode Island by renowned designer and craftsman Charles I.D. Looff. The carousel was intended to be installed in San Francisco, however it could not be due to the great 1906 earthquake and fire.

In 1912 it was a permanent fixture in Sea Cliff's Playland-at-the-Beach until the fairgrounds closure in 1972. When Playland shut its doors, the merry-go-round was purchased by a private collector and put into storage in New Mexico. In 1983, it was brought out of storage and moved to Long Beach. 

Purchased by the City of San Francisco in 1998, it was fully restored and brought to Yerba Buena Gardens within the Children's Creativity Museum. It was renamed in 2014 after former SF Redevelopment Commissioner LeRoy King, who took his future wife on their first date on the carousel that now bears his name.

It’s a round-and round-trip that creates a lifetime of memories that's open Daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $4 per ride. 
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About The Author

Juan De Anda

Juan De Anda

Juan De Anda is a cultural correspondent with a concentration in tourism, literature, and lifestyle and has been writing for SF Weekly since 2013. As an avid traveler, he enjoys discovering destinations abroad as well as the never-ending hidden gems of San Francisco. #DondeAndaJuanDeAnda?

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