History of the Carousel & Hippodrome
The Looff Years (1910s-30s)
On June 12, 1916 the Looff Hippodrome opened its doors for the first time. It and its carousel were part of Looff's new amusement park "Pleasure Pier," on a short, wide pier adjacent to the long, narrow Santa Monica Pier.
The Newcomb Years (1940s-60s)
When the war ended (WWII), WalterNewcombШаблон:Who found himself in an enviable position. The amusement business was expected to see a great surge with the return of the country's military personnel and a general feeling of national pride. With the closure of the Venice Pier reducing his competition, he relocated his Venice-based carousel into the old Looff Hippodrome.
Threats, storms, and restoration (1970s-90s)
Over the next several decades the city of Santa Monica proposed various plans to tear down Newcomb Pier, and with it the Hippodrome. The city council approved a plan to replace the pier with a resort island in Santa Monica Bay. Local activists formed Save Santa Monica Bay and shot down that plan, and in 1973 the city formally revoked a standing order to demolish the pier. The city acquired ownership of the pier in summer 1974. In the 1980s it was almost destroyed by winter storms.
In 1983 the city formed a Pier Restoration and Development Task Force (now the Pier Restoration Corporation), tasked with returning the pier to its former glory. In 1989 the Pier Restoration Corporation decided to "make the pier a year-round commercial development with amusement rides, gift shops, nightclubs with live entertainment and restaurants" that would be "reminiscent of its heyday in the 1920s and 1930s". The Hippodrome was restored and the Carousel was rebuilt inside it. The current Шаблон:Convert Pacific Park opened in 1996 as a full-scale family amusement park.
- Santa Monica Pier: A Century on the Last Great Pleasure Pier, by James Harris
- National Carousel Association: Merry-Go-Roundup (Volume 10, Number 4, Winter); The Carousel on the Pier, A Pictorial History of America's Most Famous Carousel.