The carousel horses are gone!

The Mall will be missing some of its favorite animals for the next several years, as the carousel horses have been taken away for repairs.

©Victoria Pickering

The carousel was built in 1947, and was installed at the Mall in 1981. It replaced an older carousel that had been installed in 1967.

2018. ©Miki Jourdan

The carousel has sixty horses and one sea dragon.

2011. ©Angela N.
2011. ©Angela N.
Santarchy, 2018 ©Miki Jourdan

And back in 2011, there was the unexplained “mystery of the white horse.”

2011. ©Victoria Pickering

The carousel has a history that is fitting for its location. It had originally been in a segregated Baltimore park, and after many years of civil-rights protests there, the park was desegregated on the same day that MLK gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. The Smithsonian did not know of this connection at the time of the carousel’s installation, but later installed a plaque with the story.

©Victoria Pickering

It’s going to be a long wait until the carousel re-opens, but it will be back by 2026, in time for the country’s 250th anniversary celebrations.

2023. ©Victoria Pickering

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    1. It seems like an absurd amount of time – although they are apparently also going to take apart the platform and mechanics. With the adjacent Smithsonian Castle closed for 5 years for repairs, it’s going to be a long empty stretch there.

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