Carousel at centerpiece of San Bernardino mall up for bids

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- The parking lot is empty. The signage is falling apart. However, supporters say the future at the Carousel Mall in San Bernardino is bright.

But first, it's time to say goodbye to a centerpiece of the mall's past.

The 36-foot carousel that's been the centerpiece of the mall for decades is about to be sold.

"This is a beautiful carousel," said U.S. Auctions CEO Armando Camarena. "It could end up in someone's backyard."

The carousel will be up for bids Friday afternoon, at a public auction inside the mall that starts at 1 p.m.

For many, it will be a chance to revisit a historic part of San Bernardino's heritage, before finally saying goodbye to it.

"They grew up with the Carousel Mall," said Kathy Brann, San Bernardino's director of economic and housing development. "Santa was right outside the (carousel), so they have very fond memories coming here as a child. It's a great opportunity for people to come here and see it."

The carousel was installed in 1991. It has 16 Chance/Allan Herschell-style jumping horses, deluxe Dentzel-style scenery, and two chariots.

Many leftover items from the abandoned stores are also for sale.

Proceeds will go toward redeveloping the area.

"We'll be working on a site plan. (It could be) anything from retail to office, and residential," said Brann. "As soon as we have those plans available, we'll be really excited to share."

So what kind of price might the old carousel fetch?

"I believe the bidding will start off at $50,000," said Camarena. "And slowly - or quickly - go up to $100,000."
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