Current Maintenance Conditions - Blueprint for a Dream

The building that houses Spokane's carrousel was designed for two purposes. It originally served as the Bavarian Gardens restaurant during Expo '74. Since Expo, the building has been used as the home for our carrousel.

There are a number of issues in using this building for the carrousel. Some of them are from design compromises caused by the design of a dual-purpose building. Other problems have developed over the years.

Spokane's Entrance
Spokane's entrance showing the congestion caused by the steps. Note the stroller and wheel chair parking. The current Spokane building has many space and access limitations. The hanging brass planters are functional - to catch water from the leaking roof.

The current building has experienced some dramatic costs in roof repair and maintenance, and it still leaks! Ongoing maintenance costs even include an annual paint job for the floor, which is still a slipping hazard when its wet. This safety hazard is compounded by the steps that lead down into all of the bay areas and the main entrances.

And because of the outdated glass doors and their gaps, the cost of heating or keeping out unwanted dust and grime also adds to the annual operational costs.

Stroller Parking
Many visitors to the carrousel do not know where to park their strollers while enjoying the ride, or that the ride has a wheel chair ramp. This picture shows stroller and wheel chair parking and front congestion, all in the hot coffee service area.
The addition of "conditioned air" would assist in the continued use and preservation of the carrousel components and mechanism, which are more than 100 years old. It is also a revenue factor, as the temperature in the building has reached as high as 117 degrees during our hot, dry summers.

The dry heat shrinks the antique wood at a very fast rate and runs the customers out the door. It also creates stress on the lubricants and metal components of the machine.

The rapid humidity changes of the northwest, particularly in the spring and fall seasons, also contribute to additional maintenance costs, as the wood must expand and contract rapidly and does so at different speeds than the surface paint.

Salem Carousel Building
Salem Carrousel Building
Ladies Restroom.
The spacious bathrooms in Salem also receive a carrousel treatment.
The lighting on the Spokane machine is part of its Historical Register status, and will remain the same. However, the current usage and expanded operating season has outgrown the carrousel building's general lighting and electrical capabilities. This prevents the addition of catering capabilities or additional modern equipment.

The current restrooms were originally designed to be for staff only. They are too small and too few, and they do not meet ADA standards. They are a miserable experience on a hot summer day, and provide an unworkable preparation area for carrousel weddings!

Spokane's Current Building
Spokane's current building, showing its low profile, poor roof design, and glass exposure to the east and west sun. It blocks popular river access to feed the ducks. And there is no signage that it is the Spokane Carrousel.
Shelby, N.C. Building
Shelby, N.C.
This shows the outside of the building that has wings for the restoration area, gift shop and park bathrooms. Many carrousel buildings new and old serve as centers for other facilities by adding wings; this allows for the typical carrousel roofline. This building houses bathrooms with outside entrances for the entire park and baseball fields.

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