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Carousel Twirls Into San Francisco

October 11, 1998

A celebrated 1906-vintage carousel that has bounced between San Francisco and Long Beach reopens Saturday in San Francisco as the centerpiece of new family-focused attractions at Yerba Buena Gardens.

Called the Rooftop at Yerba Buena Gardens, the area atop the George Moscone Center also includes an ice skating and bowling center operated by Van Nuys-based VSC Sports Inc.; gardens with a hedge maze and sundial; and the Zeum, a high-tech arts center with theater and video facilities aimed at 8- to 18-year-olds (opening Oct. 31).

The 60-odd-figure carousel, designed by Charles Looff, twirled for nearly 60 years at San Francisco's now-defunct Playland at the Beach, then moved to Long Beach's Shoreline Village in 1983. It was later bought by the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, which dismantled it and shipped it to the new site.

Yerba Buena Gardens, at Market and 3rd streets, is already home to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, theater and other cultural centers. Entry to the Rooftop is free, but there are charges of about $1 to $6 for many activities.

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