Among the ESPN Zones (RIP) and Luckie’s Liquors at the Inner Harbor, the carousel was the kind of old-fashioned entertainment that charmed children and adults alike. But if you haven’t yet ridden the century-old, hand-carved wooden horses, you may be out of luck — the city has ordered the carousel’s owner to get it out of the Harbor by March 31.
A victim of the sagging economy, the ride’s owner, Richard H. Knight, hasn’t paid rent for five years. At one time, according to Knight, the carousel charged 75 cents a ride, and made over $100,000 annually. But in recent years, as the price of a rise rose to $2, profits started to sink, and Knight has taken in about $25,000 each year. City officials claim that he’s allowing the historic artifact to fall into disrepair. “We have been extraordinarily patient with Mr. Knight,” Jay Brodie, the president of the Baltimore Development Corp., said. “We simply reached the end. We are at this point with regret.”
If you prefer a conspiracy story, consider that the BDC has received several proposals to revamp the Inner Harbor — and none of those plans included the carousel.
“They’ll have to drag me out kicking and screaming,” Knight said. “I mean, this city keeps losing things. They lost the Colts. They lost the ice rink at Rash Field. They lost the trapeze school. How many more things can we lose? This ride is an icon.”