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Expert to Speak on History and Restoration Plans for Chippewa Carousel
Date: October 23, 2017
Time: 3:58 PM
Email Event

October, 23, 2017 – As part of their goal of restoring what many people call the Chippewa Merry-Go-Round, The Friends of Chippewa Park are excited to present An Evening with Lisa Parr, Carousel Restoration Expert at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 7 pm.

“Our horses have travelled millions of miles over the past 102 years and as a result are tired,” said Lorraine Lortie-Krawczuk, the President of The Friends of Chippewa Park, “and that is why we are embarking on a major project to restore this wonderful children’s asset so that it will be here for another century.”

Thunder Bay’s Chippewa Park is home to a 102-year-old C.W. Parker Carousel and is one of three of its kind left in the world.  After 102 years of thrilling young and old alike the Carousel is in desperate need of rehabilitation. 

“Lisa Parr has a history of restoring C.W. Parker Carousels and we have contracted with her to guide us and local artisans in returning all aspects of our Carousel to its original factory condition,” said Lortie-Krawczuk. “It is essential that we get this right and we are relying on one of the internationally recognized experts to ensure that the restoration only enhances the historical value of the carousel.”

Parr will outline the history of the Parker Carousels and then go below the paint to describe how carousel horses are constructed and the manner in which they must be restored. She has a wealth of knowledge on the development of North American Carousels and will be at the Art Gallery to share with all those interested in our cultural heritage including woodworkers, painters and other artists.

As part of the evening, The Friends of Chippewa Park will speak to the local history of the carousel and provide an indication of some of the plans for the restoration of the historically designated carousel.

This evening is supported by the City of Thunder Bay’s Parks and Open Spaces Section and by the Thunder Bay Art Gallery. There is no charge for those attending the evening.


For further information:  Lorraine Lortie-Krawczuk 473-6048

NOTE TO EDITORS: Lisa Parr will be available for in-studio or telephone interviews on the mornings of Nov. 6 and 7 – please contact to arrange. Her profile is below.


Old Parr’s, Inc.
Highland Park, Illinois 


After teaching fine arts, art history, and Latin for some years, Ms. Parr moved from Ithaca, New York, to the Chicago area for more business experience and exposure to a greater variety of art. She now lives in Highland Park, Illinois.

While counseling at the University of Illinois and teaching at its Medical Center, she worked on her own sculptures in her studio. People began to bring carousel animals to her for repair. According to Parr she learned by doing, asking old carousel survivors, reading the few available books, and researching restoration. She quickly began to incorporate her sculptural skills and historical knowledge of paint, and formed a business in which she restores as well as conserve the 3-dimensional as well as the 2-dimensional aspects of full-sized antique wooden carousel animals and related wooden figures. That beginning was over thirty-five years ago.

Ms. Carr notes that the old carousel carvers and painters were classically trained artisans from Europe. Their shapes were flowing and dynamic, and their paints glowed. She recognizes that she has much to learn from their techniques, and feels that she has no right to change them. Therefore, she purposely clings to the old carvers’ manner of joining, gluing, and painting. The repairs she does and paints she use are with regard to factory structure, joinery, and painting techniques. The paints are oil-base, which are hand applied and not sprayed. 

Ms. Parr notes that restoration of antique wooden carousel animals has been her work and passion for over 35 years. She performs this recovery of original paint, re-carving and replacement of missing limbs, and re-painting--faithful to factory documentation--for museums, cities that own historically registered carousels, and private collectors.

Examples of Ms. Parr’s work can be found at: Weona Park, Pen Argyle, PA.; Rocky Springs,, Lancaster, PA; Pullen Park, Raleigh, NC (all three Dentzel carousels); and Allan Herschell Chavis Park Carousel, Raleigh, NC. In addition, Ms. Parr has twice restored a sister C.W. Parker Carousel for Waterloo, Wisconsin. (The second restoration was after a flood seriously damaged the carousel).