Coolidge Park Carousel
As you cross to the North Shore on the Walnut Street Bridge, you will glimpse the ridges of a cobalt roof nestled just to your left, peeking up from the tree cover of Coolidge Park and topped with a glinting gold horse. From this vantage point, how could you resist a visit to the Coolidge Park Carousel?
Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of this attraction, which was installed for the opening of Coolidge Park in 1999.
History of the Carousel
Constructed in 1894 by the Gustav A. Dentzel Company—named after the prominent German-born carousel builder who emigrated to Philadelphia in the 1860s—the carousel structure is fashioned in the likeness of the country's earliest and most renowned carousel models.
This build was originally made in Philadelphia and later transferred to New York state, where it operated before another transfer to Atlanta, Georgia. Around the 1960s, it fell into disrepair and many of the iconic animals were sold off.
The Carousel Today
Horsing Around is now operated by Larry Ridge, who carves and maintains animals for the carousel. Each animal takes almost 400 hours (about 2 and a half weeks) of work.
Horses with windswept vermilion manes, snarling tigers, and formal frogs frozen in perpetual leaps weave together the past and the present. The antique Coolidge Park Carousel is more than just a ride; it is a testament to the power of the human imagination and the meeting point of timeless beauty and childhood joy.
Hidden in Plain Sight
History Blog Series
Chattanooga's history is everywhere! Welcome to a blog series delving into the intriguing historical gems scattered around Chattanooga. Explore the stories that make up this city’s rich past and form its culture of today.