I really like amusement parks, but I especially like abandoned ones. Glen Echo Park outside of Washington D.C. is over 100 years old. Originally built as one of the Chatauqua Institutes in the late 1800's, it quickly became the regions amusement park, eventually closing in 1968. The NationalPark service took over the property and it has been a park ever since. The park is now an art and cultural hub hosting classes in some of the buildings and large events in the restored Spanish Ballroom. The rides are closed but you can still walk the grounds decades after the sounds of laughing children and vendors hawking 'hot dogs, cotton candy!" have gone.
I was fortunate enough to have been there years ago before a major rehab of the place. Like all abandoned spaces it was a little sad to see it well after its prime. Long before print shops were wrapping vans and trucks with printed vinyl sheets artists painted this place by dipping brushes in cans. The horses on the carousel and the murals were all a labor of love created by artists who knew their work would be seen by hundreds of thousands of people each year. The carousel has been fully restored and once again you can go listen to the music of the calliope and ride one of meticulously hand painted horses.
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