Monday, December 27, 2010

McEuen Field ~ Maybe a Not-So-Merry-Go-Round

We have a park here in town  about to undergo some major renovations. There has been a team working on a plan for quite some time. It is not without controversy, which is standard. Many would like it to remain as is. Others, including the team, want it to become a "destination" park, whatever that is.

The concept was unveiled in the paper last week. It is ambitious and bound to be expensive. Where the money will come from will be a major issue.

It has a Facebook page. There is to be a public meeting for discussions, questions and suggestions. On the surface, that all sounds wonderful, but if you've lived in this area for a time you probably realize things are not necessarily as rosy as they may seem.

Here's where I see a potential snag. A 90 year old carousel that was a mainstay on a long gone pier back in the 40's and 50's has become available. Post Falls, our next door neighbor, would take it if Coeur d'Alene decides against it. It belongs in Coeur d'Alene.

It could face demise, be broken up and sold piecemeal as have so many others. It is one of only about 100 left. This too is something that has to be paid for and a structure of some sort would be needed to protect it from the elements. I'm not so sure about that if it is restored properly. Many, like the one pictured in Paris, as you can see, stands on it's own.

A private group is looking into this as a possibility along with funding mechanisms.

Now granted, it doesn't need to go in the revamped park. What troubles me, however, is a comment by the Mayor who said "We're not looking at buildings, per se, so I don't know if it could fit." Let that red flag that just went up be overly active paranoia on my part!

My question, if the plan before us is truly only a concept open for discussion, why couldn't it fit? The steering committee's mission statement says,
Our mission is to develop a dynamic master plan, that allows the park to evolve into a destination park, with compelling and memorable features that serve the greatest number of uses for the greatest number of people, of all ages and abilities... "
What better attraction for kids?  What better piece of memorabilia of the city's past?

Okay.  I love carousels.  The music and the animals are enchanting.  If it hadn't been for space constraints when I started, I'd be carving carousel animals rather than chess sets.  I grew up visiting the historic Kennywood Park carousel in West Mifflin, PA.  I spent my free time in Paris wandering the streets looking for and photographing their many carousels.

Let my fears be unfounded that this is an opportunity about to be missed.  It's just that sometimes things we're told are open for discussion have already been decided. It has been known to be the nature of local politics.


Word Tosser said...
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Word Tosser said...

You know it is going to be a tug of war, no matter what they put in there... those who think spending any money at all on anything are going to scream... and then those who want to keep the old CDA memories alive will be laughed at. as the world turns in CDA....

Myself, I think the carousel will be wonderful..

Thom George said...

I think Cis is right, damned if you do, damned if you don't. Personally, I think it would be a great attraction and the historical significance to Coeur d'Alene is a bonus, but some will complain if any public money is spent on this, others will complain about the 'exact' location--wherever it would wind up-- and still others will complain if it is not acquired. Such is human nature, I guess. I recently heard the often quoted but erroneous complaint that there isn't enough parking downtown and even though the new plan calls for doubling the amount of public parking the person didn't really believe them and it still wouldn't be enough.

Margie's Musings said...

There's one of those wonderful Merry Go Arounds in the Riverside Park and Zoo in Independence, Kansas just 15 miles from here. As far as I know there are no plans to do away with it. All my grandchildren enjoyed it and the zoo too.

I hope they vote to keep yours.

Space Lady said...

I hope that the carousel becomes a part of the "destination park." They are an enchanting space, a get away where the ups and downs are all positive.