Last Sunday (September 28th) was the annual Remembering the Sights and Sounds of Euclid Beach event at the location of the popular Cleveland amusement park which closed in 1969. It’s one big nostalgic event with classic cars in the parking lot, pony rides for the kids, memorabilia of the old park featuring many of the rides, the dance pavilion, and of course the old entrance which still stands but, ironically, not part of the area now a public park and beach since the original site has been chopped up for a variety of uses. I even got to see ‘Laughing Sal’; a laughing, funny looking, robot that once graced the park’s Fun House and was laughing again at a push of a button. To my utter amazement, the crowds get bigger with every year and, naturally, goes a long way towards promoting what’s left of the park and, hopefully, spur on some long range plans for its redevelopment.
With the Cleveland Metroparks taking over the Lakefront parks in 2013, an opportunity to really improve Euclid Beach took place. It’s certainly a lot cleaner than before. There is even talk again of rebuilding in some form the pier; as a poster Sunday showed. This idea has been tossed back and forth for years. State Representative Kenny Yuko helped secure some State of Ohio funding for a study on what type of design the pier should look like. In fact, a 2012 study, the Euclid Beach Park VisionPlan has among its many recommendations the restoration of the pier and adjacent fountain. However, as of today, only the concrete part that connects to the shore still stands.
The old Euclid Beach fountain was just as iconic in the minds of many old timers. Located right next to the pier, it was a nice place for little children to swim in and a romantic spot at night when lit up in a variety of colors. The fountain remained for years after the park closed, rusting in its’ dry pool until vandals got the better of it. When the State of Ohio took over the property, they transformed basin into one giant sandbox. Today, grass has pretty much overtaken the sand but the basin itself is still there.
Rebuilding the fountain to what it was in its glory would be a great attraction especially as a safe pool for children to swim in. Considering the number of people who attend an event celebrating the park’s past, I’m sure they can put a few dollars each in a box to recreate something for the future. Not only that, with all the Kickstarter campaigns out there for a zillion things, why not one to restore the fountain? It may not raise all the money but it wouldn’t hurt. Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman has made it clear that he and his team has great ideas for Euclid Beach. I hope that the pier and fountain will be a top priority.