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Grand Rapids Public Museum to reopen 1928 Spillman Carousel

1928 Spillman Carousel
Posted at 1:56 PM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 13:58:46-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Public Museum announced Monday it will reopen the 1928 Spillman Carousel on May 25.

Museum members will have early access to ride the Carousel on May 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The nearly 100-year-old artifact underwent a major renovation, which started in 2017.

This renovation required crews to dismantle the carousel and rebuild it.

Renovations include mechanical and electrical upgrades, installation of 1,200 LED light bulbs, band organ repairs and initial steps toward restoring 53 horses and menagerie animals and two chariots.

When reopened, the carousel will have bilingual signage and instructional recordings, as well as additional communication features for people who are blind, low vision, deaf or hard of hearing.

The museum hopes to unveil additional improvements to the carousel in 2023, including a wheelchair accessible chariot and a ramp for wheelchair access.

“The Spillman Carousel is a Grand Rapids treasure that began with a community-led initiative to purchase and bring it cross country to be a part of our collections and the overall museum experience. We are pleased that the major renovations are nearly complete and will ensure it will be enjoyed for generations to come.

“We look forward to welcoming back the community. We are grateful for the continued support of the Peter C. and Emajean Cook Foundation. Through their support, and many others, visitors are creating memories that last for lifetimes,” said Dale Robertson, President and CEO of the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

The iconic carousel is housed above the Grand River in the Cook Carousel Pavilion at the museum.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors have ridden the Spillman Carousel since its installation at the Van Andel Museum Center in 1994.

To follow along with the 1928 Spillman Carousel’s updates or to give financial support, click here.

To reserve museum tickets in advance, click here.

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