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Columbus Commons Blog

Carousel Works: Bringing Magic to Columbus Commons

The carousel at Columbus Commons, installed in April 2011, has been a place of pure enjoyment for children visiting the Commons. Featuring 18 unique figures— including a tiger, an OSU Buckeye horse, a panda, and a clown fish— along with two ADA-compliant chariots, the carousel is one of the many noteworthy components of Columbus Commons. Ten locally inspired painted scenes decorating the top edge of the carousel ranging from the Ohio Stadium to the Franklin Park Conservatory help give the ride a Columbus flare.

How did this beautiful carousel come to be? We have Carousel Works to thank for that. Carousel Works was founded in 1986 in Mansfield, Ohio with the goal of bringing back the beautiful art of the wooden carousel. Until Carousel Works began operating, a new wooden carousel had not been built since the Great Depression. Since opening, they have completed 54 new carousels to date.

Carousel Works doesn’t just build new carousels; they also restore and maintain carousels around the country. All of their work is done on site at Carousel Works – when they build a new carousel, the construction is broken down into sections that are worked on simultaneously: the metal frame, the figures, and the facade. When touch ups are made to carousel figures over the years, areas needing special attention are prepared for the reapplication of paint and a clear coat of varnish is applied by hand to protect the paint.

Carousel Works has built carousels in other areas of Ohio as well, including the Riverfront Park in Cincinnati and the Cleveland, Akron, and Toledo Zoos. Without a doubt, Carousel Works has done a wonderful job creating a stunning carousel for Columbus Commons and maintaining the beauty and whimsy that it contains. The next time you’re at the Commons, pay the carousel a visit and enjoy all of the charming details it holds. While you’re at it, take a free spin during Commons for Kids on Fridays from 9 am to 2 pm.