A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

The day Albany Carousel will open

Written June 2nd, 2017 by Hasso Hering

Electricians work on the Albany Carousel on Thursday. It will open next month.

You probably had no idea there is such a thing as National Carousel Day, let alone when it is. Well, it’s on July 25, and that’s the date when the Albany Carousel is scheduled to open.

As you can see by just walking by, the $6 million Carousel building at First and Washington in downtown Albany is rapidly nearing completion. Riding past on my bike Thursday, I ran into Gary Goby, MD, the volunteer who’s been overseeing the construction project for the last year or so. He told me about National Carousel Day and gave me a quick tour of the place.

The building is huge, even bigger than it looks from the outside. The basement has as much space as the main floor, and it’s been fitted out as a series of big open rooms for things like storage, workshops, heating and cooling, and even a machine that will collect, compact and package for easy disposal all the trash from the upstairs concessions area.

Everything is being made ready for the opening day. I didn’t ask about the details, but you can be sure there’ll be some kind of ceremonial occasion to mark the completion of 15 years of planning and construction, and the start of operations. Plenty of time to announce the particulars later.

The Historic Albany Carousel and Museum has a website with lots of information, You can  find it here.

Dr. Goby showed me some of the basement equipment including the controls for a system that will use hot water to heat the building.

The building’s motif is carried out on the walls of the restrooms as well.





Posted in: Commentary, News

14 responses to “The day Albany Carousel will open”

  1. Shawn Dawson says:

    Fabulous. So, so many years of work to get us here. This will be an Albany jewel.


  2. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Projects that catch the spirit of private voluntary associations and volunteerism are inspirational. Free association and volunteerism are threads knitted deeply into the fabric of Albany.

    But these threads became frayed when the Carousel folks did what they promised they wouldn’t do – use public money.

    CARA, through its tax increment financing scheme, has now committed $750,000 of your property taxes to help fund this project. These monies were diverted from public safety, education, parks, and library.

    Is the carousel a higher priority than essential services? Of course not.

    There now exists a stain on the project.

    The only question now is – How much more will the Carousel take from city taxpayers?

    The city should not force every property taxpayer into a relationship with this project. If the project can’t be done 100% freely and voluntarily, it shouldn’t be done at all.

    • John Jay says:

      I respect your opinion, but I believe the definition of essential services is far beyond making sure the police have a enough bullets. Look at communities such as Florence (Not Oregon), the entire community supports the arts and celebrates the geniuses born in that city, Dante Alighieri, Giotto, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Filippo Brunelleschi, Masaccio, Benvenuto Cellini, Cosimo the Elder, Lorenzo il Magnifico, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Amerigo Vespucci, Antonio Meucci and Roberto Benigni.

      Albany can be much more than the number of police and fire personnel present, it’s a living breathing entity, it has a certain level of health. The mere fact we’re constructing a massive new police station tells me just how potentially broken the community is. Instead of working on the arts and the carousel, we’re using our limited resources to put up institutions for incarceration and authoritarianism. The less you spend on carousels the more you’ll spend putting walls around your castle.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      Your constant dystopian views of how the community should function are so sad…

      • hj.anony1 says:

        You traveling in for the BIG grand opening, Gordon? ….to spread your curmudgeon cheer?

        This arrangement makes me think of those P3’s you cons just love to promote. You know…public/private partnerships.

  3. Laurie Anderson says:

    I a looking forward to seeing the Carousel and sharing the experience with family and friends.
    With the construction on First street , how is it going to affect parking and the small businesses who struggle with parking already?
    I can’t help but ask, why wasn’t the street improvement done before the carousel project was even started? Why didn’t the parking situation get addressed and improved before the carousel building began? The parking that is the closest will be marked for Disabled. The merchants who depend on street parking for customers, will have no parking for their customers. The parking behond the 300 block of First street is designated for merchant and for apartment dwellers to park in. The parking lot on Water Street needs repaired badly. Please clarify this for me and others who are wondering the same thing.

  4. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    John Jay, centrist, and hj –

    By choosing anonymity you forfeit the right to be taken seriously. Come back when you grow up and we’ll talk.

    Hasso – Once again I’ll plead with you to require real names. You are enabling cowardly behavior, and that is never good for honest discussion.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      Good point about pseudonyms, good but not practical. Anybody can assume any real-sounding name online. I can’t check them for authenticity unless I require commenters to email copies of their drivers’ licenses, passports or birth certificates. Instead, as Shadle says, commenters disguising their identity run the risk of having their ideas dismissed out of hand. (hh)

      • centrist says:

        Ahh, Shadle raises the identity canard again.
        Names, particularly in the ‘net are fungible (as were ham-radio handles).
        What is important is consistently having sound ideas, clearly rendered.
        Having said that, I do dismiss some commenters out of hand because of their screen identifiers. Such is life in the larger world

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      Gordon —
      While I do agree with you in principle (and have stated similar many times), it is a tad ironic coming from you since “Mr.G” was rather ubiquitous over the past few years on the DH blogs.

      That said, I know several of the folks who post anonymously. For personal reasons, they feel it is in their best interest to not divulge their names…

    • HowlingCicada says:

      My reason for anonymity is entirely personal; I’m a near-recluse for whom every interpersonal contact beyond “Hello” is difficult and annoying. My “name” means nothing; it was just the first thing that popped up in my head years ago when I couldn’t resist commenting somewhere on something, probably rare earth metals.

      Tip for would-be anonymous cowards: decide if you want to be searchable all over the web; I seem to be (some tricks are needed to find everything), but “centrist” probably is not.

      By the way, I find Gordon’s posts useful as a clearly-distilled expression of a viewpoint I need to be aware of. Never mind that I mostly disagree.

  5. Gary Miller says:

    This is a wonderful project and a real draw for people to visit Albany. We have already had people from all across the country come visit to see the project in progress, many of them return visitors.

    CARA is the Central Albany Revitalization Area and this project is definitely in line with their mission – bringing people into the downtown area to boost the economy, Yes, there will be additional traffic and parking just as there is for summer concerts. This should help downtown businesses thrive.


  6. James Engel says:

    Tossing out all the above monetary & political “babel” the one shining example in H. H. blog is mentioning Dr Goby. I’ve known him since ’71. He has the perfect “bedside” manner, he has volunteered his medical services, and for this Carousel project he deserves a gold star on the sidewalk outside the place. He is someone who makes a community whole & works tirelessly to make it happen!…JE


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