Jantzen Beach Carousel Restoration

MPF Conservation assessed the Jantzen Beach Carousel in 2018, and subsequently treated three horses and several decorative objects from the carousel. This page is the overview of the entire project.

Jantzen Beach Carousel is a cultural landmark beloved by the community. It is under new ownership and we hope to see it running sometime soon.

History and Background on Damages

When we were introduced to the project, the storage facility that housed the carousel suffered a major roof failure in the winter season, causing a deluge of rain water, snow and dissolved construction materials to wash down upon the carousel parts, dumping water, dirt and debris everywhere, shown left and below, which sat on the various parts. This caused further damage to the already badly distressed and weathered painted carousel parts.

Note: Some images have white spots in them; this is debris flying as we moved items.

The parts were arranged by those who previously disassembled and stored the beloved historic carousel in what could be described as an organized mess. Some effort had been made to care for the parts but there was not enough protection.

The worst thing was the parts were put away covered with grease (see above). Grease left on wooden painted objects can exacerbate degradation, as it works its way under the finish and into the body of the object.

Our crew, run by Adam Todd who owns Portland’s Best Movers (our movers of choice for all moves), cleaned and sorted the entire mess with us, taking several days; many of their images are on this page.

Overall Goals of the Assessment

Our goals were to:

  1. Assess a sampling of all the decorative elements with an eye to an overall cost and possible plan toward restoration of the various parts: Carousel Horses, various shields/panels and rounding boards.
  2. Bring several objects back to the studio for in-depth assessments, and to treat three chosen horses and several other items.
  3. By multiplying our sample assessments by the number of the total items, we would offer a ball park estimate for the restoration of the entire carousel.

Mitchell and Adam sorting and cleaning, then acquiring of parts!
Below, from mess, left, to order, right.

In the process of assessing the many parts of the carousel MPFC also cleaned and ordered the storage space, shown above, and also better protected the various parts both in the stacking and by covering the parts with large tarps, in case there was a further incident to the roof. This was outside the parameters of the contract. Unfortunately our clean-up was for naught, as the mechanical assessment left everything in disarray.

We intended to assess two of each size horse: Extra Large, Large, Medium, and Small (ponies), however, once on site, it was determined to be detrimental to the safety of the horses to find the sizes, so we chose from the two dozen horses easily accessible, looking for horses with problems of various types, and found a good sampling.

Fifteen horses came with us for the first assessment, more than in our contract, as there was no way to secure the extra horses in stable positions within the storage facility during the mechanical/electrical assessment phase on the condition of the big gears.

Of those we assessed ten, two more than required by contract, however, this insured the creation of a better average for the ultimate restoration costs of the whole. Of those we also treated three horses.

We also treated several other carousel parts. We moved the large double chariot above and left, the long lion chariot below right, and a sample of two of all the decorative objects (cherubs, rounding boards, etc.) for assessment.

The following is located on this website:

MPFC had such fun restoring the horses;
we hope to do more carousel horses soon!

Below, Adam Todd, owner of Portland’s Best Movers,
with the hard-working movers (holding the Portland Horse).

Click on the image below to see blog posts
about the Jantzen Beach Carousel horses.