Libertyland Grand Carousel

Status: Dismantled; delisted Nov. 18, 2009

Location: Mid-South Fairgrounds, Memphis

Built: 1923

Architectural Style: Standard carousel housing

The Libertyland Grand Carousel was placed on the National Register on July 3, 1980.

History: Libertyland Grand Carousel was built in 1909 in the Philadelphia workshop of Gustav Dentzel and his son William H. Dentzel. After it sustained fire damage in Chicago, it was returned to Philadelphia for rebuilding. It came to Memphis in 1923 as part of a large new amusement park on the Mid-South Fairgrounds; William Dentzel was on hand opening day, saying “I took more pains and more pride on the fashioning of this carousel because of the fact that it is built in a permanent location.” Housed in its trademark John A. Miller Dome Building, it was well taken care of down the years. The carousel, like the Zippin Pippin roller coaster, was purchased after World War II by the City of Memphis. The carousel rides were disassembled in 2009 and the rare intact Miller Dome was destroyed shortly afterward. For years the rides were stored in the nearby disused and non-climate-controlled Mid-South Coliseum but were recently restored by the firm Carousels and Carvings of Marion, Ohio over the course of two years at a cost of $1 million. In 2017 the rides took their place in a reassembled carousel housed in a pavilion associated with the Children’s Museum of Memphis, which held the Memphis Grand Carousel’s grand opening on December 2, 2017. The carousel was delisted from the National Register after it was dismantled in 2009 (and the Miller Dome demolished) by the City of Memphis.

 

City Council District: 4

Super District: 8

County Commission District: 10

DON NEWMAN