Crescent Park - Riverside, RI
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member RIclimber
N 41° 45.427 W 071° 21.573
19T E 303839 N 4625500
Quick Description: Crescent Park was open from 1886-1979. The Crescent Park Carousel Commission still operates the 105 year old masterpiece of Charles I.D. Looff.
Location: Rhode Island, United States
Date Posted: 1/5/2010 6:56:51 PM
Waymark Code: WM80XV
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member the federation
Views: 11

Long Description:
The "Coney Island of New England" originated in 1886 under
the foresight of Charles Boyden. The shores of Riverside
(then called Wannamoisett) were becoming dotted with summer
cottages, bath houses, and a grand hotel.

Boyden opened the Crescent Park Resort in 1886 around the
400-foot Bullocks Point Dock. Boyden wanted to get people
off the beaches, so he contacted the famous wood carver
Charles I.D. Looff. Looff was commissioned to build a
Carousel that would come to be the cornerstone of the park.

In 1901 the Hope Land Company purchased the park. Under
the leadership of Fred Dexter, the majestic "New England
Association of Arts and Crafts Hall" was built in 1902.
During this time frame Looff added rides such as the "Flying
Toboggan" and the "Rivers of Venice".

Dexter died in 1906 and Hope Land Company appointed R.A.
Harrington to run the park. The park was bustling with
patrons that were brought from trolleys and steamships
from all over New England and New York. In 1914, the son
of Charles I.D. Looff (Charles Looff) built the new
"Shore Dinner Hall".

In 1920, Charles Looff took ownership of the park. The
younger Looff began expansion of the Amusement Park, by
adding a roller rink and the "Alhambra Ballroom". Looff
died in 1925. Beacon Manufacturing assumed ownership,
but had moved their operations south. John Clare was
appointed manager of the park. The park remained under
this structure for over two decades.

During this time, Dominic Spadola was building many of the
enchanting rides of this New England treasure. Rides such
as the "Tumble Bug" and others were crafted by Mr. Spadola.

Crescent Park hit hard times in the war years (1941-45).
Attendance was way down and materials were scarce. In 1951,
the park was purchased by the Crescent Park Realty Company.
Management responsibility of the park now belonged to Arthur
Simmons and Fred McCusker.

Simmons and McCusker revived the park by updating many of
the attractions that were decaying from the lack of attention
during the previous decade. One of the managers of the Park,
Ed Serowik, told us in a recent film about the park, "Wood
from the old roller coaster was used to build the River-Boat
ride." A lot of maintenance was needed to get the park back
to a beautiful family oriented amusement park.

The Park flourished again in the 1950s and into the 1960s.
The "Kiddie Land" was spruced up to attract the families back
to the park. In 1966 the park was sold to Melvin T. Berry.
On the night of September 2, 1969, the Alhambra Ballroom fell
victim to a horrible fire. Soon after, the park tried to woo
the thrill seekers by adding the menacing ride: "The Turbo".

Changing tastes, lack of care, financial problems, and
pollution all contributed to the death of CRESCENT PARK in 1979.
Date Park Opened: 1/1/1886

Date Park Closed: 1/1/1979

Address:
17 hawthrone st
providence , r.i.
02907


Current Use or Function:
Public park and houses


Is the park still there?: No

If not, what is in its place now?:
Public park, just the Carousel is still open.


Visit Instructions:
You must post at least one original picture at the posted coords to post a visit log for this waymark. Extra points if you are in the spirit of the park (i.e., in costume, etc.).
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
Mr. Packrat visited Crescent Park - Riverside, RI 9/22/2013 Mr. Packrat visited it
Roscoe45 visited Crescent Park - Riverside, RI 12/8/2012 Roscoe45 visited it
scout.y visited Crescent Park - Riverside, RI 3/21/2010 scout.y visited it
RIclimber visited Crescent Park - Riverside, RI 1/17/2010 RIclimber visited it

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