SAN DIEGO LOOSES ANOTHER GREAT CAROUSEL
On April 17 of this year, San Diego lost their second great carousel.
This particular cast-off was the famous 1890 Broadway Flying Horses at
Seaport Village. It sold at auction for a very low $650,000 (in the
80’s a similar carousel sold for $800,000). The name of the buyer, and
his plans for the carousel, were not disclosed. He had a representative
there to bid for him and she was not open to questions about the
carrousels future. The bidding opened at $500,000, by a retired
carnival owner from the
southern California area. He also owns a 1980’s Chance machine that was
used in the movie "Face Off."
A second bidder made an offer of $600,000, and then the final bid of
$650,000 was placed. There was no sales tax charged after all.
The Broadway Flying Horses carousel was part of a family trust
established by the late Morris Taubman, developer of Seaport Village.
Bank officials in charge of the trust decided to sell the carousel to
pay taxes on the estate. William F. Mangels manufactured the platform
and mechanics for the
carousel, while ex-furniture maker Charles Looff hand-carved the 40
horses, three dogs and three goats. The dogs and goats reside on the
outside row and are stationary.
After the Mangels-Looff carousel was construction it operated at Coney
Island, N.Y. for a short time, and then was relocated to Salisbury
Beach, Mass. It remained on the East Coast until Taubman bought the
carousel in 1977 and moved it to San Diego. The carousel and band organ
were restored before being installed at Seaport Village in 1980. In
2002, the mechanical parts of the carousel also underwent an overhaul.
The cost of that upgrade was somewhere around $280,000 Approximately
225,000 people a year rode the merry-go-round over the
past three years for $2 a ride. And millions more have ridden since it
was first placed at Seaport Village. For those of us lucky enough to
have been one of those people, the
memories will last a lifetime.