A popular Oakland landmark makes its return, bringing back a bit of colorful fun to the neighborhood.
Starting on Mon., April 11, the PNC Carousel in Schenley Plaza will re-open to the public. This will mark the 16th season for the carousel, a wheelchair-accessible amusement ride available for anyone to enjoy.
“We are excited for another season of the recently-renovated PNC Carousel,” said Shawn Fertitta, Director of Visitor Experience for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, which oversees the carousel. “Opening day always signifies that summer is ahead and Schenley Plaza, with its multiple restaurants, large open green space, and of course, the beloved merry-go-round, provides the perfect afternoon experience for all families.”
Over the years, the ride has received a number of upgrades and renovations, both in terms of safety and aesthetics. In 2021, it reopened with new brass plating, anti-slip deck surfacing, and fresh paint, according to a Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy press release.
This ride is known for going beyond using traditional horses and features a camel, elephant, giraffe, ostrich, rabbit, seahorse, and many other animals meant to "symbolize the diversity of Pittsburgh and its people." A 2005 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article says the carousel was designed as a throwback to an old Schenley Park merry-go-round located at Greenfield Road and Panther Hollow Drive in the early 1900s.
The carousel was erected as part of a major, multi-million dollar renovation project to transform a parking lot between the Univerity of Pittsburgh's Hillman Library and the main branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh into what is now Schenley Plaza. Besides the carousel, the Plaza also offers a place for recreation and happenings such as Kid's Day, an event taking place on the second Sunday of the month from June to October that features free carousel rides, lawn games, and more.
The operating hours for the carousel are Mon.-Sun. from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. with an exception for holidays and inclement weather. Purchase individual $2 rides with a credit card at the kiosk near the carousel, or pay cash at the nearby Asia Tea House Restaurant. SNAP/ACCESS card recipients also have the option to enjoy one free ride.
Carousel passes for the 2022 season are also available at pittsburghparks.org/carousel-pass.