Sandpoint Reader: Carousel of Smiles restoration passes halfway point

The Carousel of Smiles restoration project, initiated in 2018 by Clay and Reno Hutchison, is approaching completion with over 10,000 volunteer hours invested in the meticulous restoration of the 1920 Allan Herschell carousel. Currently, 18 out of 36 horses have been fully restored, with plans to finish the restoration by 2024. The project includes an innovative building designed by local architect Tim Boden, situated along Sand Creek at the old Lakeside Inn location, serving as both a carousel house and a cultural center. The proposed facility, with a second-floor balcony, art gallery space, and solar panels, aims to be a year-round community space hosting various events and activities. While initially considering City Beach, the Hutchisons are now exploring a location at the Sand Creek parking lot, awaiting the land transfer process with the Idaho Transportation Department for approval. Despite the hurdles, the Hutchisons remain optimistic, emphasizing the community’s overwhelming support and excitement for the carousel’s future home in Sandpoint.

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