Best Merry-Go-Round - 2001
The sweet bird of youth is endangered no more when you swing aboard a merry-go-round and partake of its simple pleasures: the lights, the music, the giddy, spiraling sensations. Golden Gate Park's is a beauty: Built in 1912 by the Herschell-Spillman Co. of New York, it dazzled visitors to the 1939-40 World's Fair on Treasure Island and was brought to Children's Playground to replace the steam-driven model that had been around since 1891. Housed in a graceful neo-Greek temple, the Herschell-Spillman features a rocker, a tub, two chariots, and 62 animals -- roosters, pigs, lions, storks, dogs, goats, zebras, and of course horses among them. In the '80s a six-year restoration project resulted in buffed, sanded, beautifully lacquered new life for this vintage treasure. Lovely, lilting music, too, courtesy of the 65-year-old pipe organ.