A visible piece of the Santa Monica Pier’s history has been restored with the return of “Merry Go-Round” hand-painted signage to the exterior of the Hippodrome building, which contains the pier carousel.
The Hippodrome building opened in 1916 as a featured amusement on the Looff Pleasure Pier with the same tan and blue trim color scheme it has today. In the 1930s the color scheme was changed to tan with red trim and the original “Merry Go-Round” lettering was added.
In 1983 the structure was returned to its original tan and blue coloring and the lettering was removed. Pier officials said since that time, the merry go-round has been difficult for pier visitors to locate because the building has had no significant markings or signage.
Earlier this year, the Merry Go-Round signage was proposed by the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation, and the Santa Monica Landmarks Commission unanimously approved the plan.
The new signage was placed with the help of Los Angeles painter-sculptor and installation artist Richard Ankrom.
“The Merry Go-Round has been the cornerstone of the Santa Monica Pier since 1916, and this restoration of its signage is both a nod to history and easy identification of the treasured horses inside,” said James Harris, deputy director/pier historian for the restoration corporation.