Southern Hills Mall Carousel

Mickey Nelson watches son Christian Nelson, 6, and daughter Sophia Nelson, 3, on the carousel at Southern Hills Mall in Sioux City on Sept. 9. 

Dawn J. Sagert, Sioux City Journal file

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SIOUX CITY | Southern Hills Mall opened on March 5, 1980. It cost $21 million to construct. 

The development helped usher in a wave of other businesses in the area around South Lakeport Street and Sergeant Road. 

The 791,000-square-foot mall today has about 100 stores, with major tenants being JCPenney, Sears and Younkers. It is owned by Washington Prime Group. 

The centerpiece is a Venetian carousel that opened in September. 

Influenced by the Italian "carosellos" of the 19th century, the ride is covered in murals hand-painted by Italian artists, floored with Brazilian oak and lighted by 570 tiny electric bulbs. It features charging horses, dolphin-drawn chariots and giant spinning teacups.

Today, about 15 percent of the nation's super regional shopping centers operate carousels.

Island Carousel, of Marco Island, Fla., was contracted to install the ride in Scheels Court. The company has provided carousel installation and operation services in malls across the nation since 1985.

The carousel operates in the space where a children's play area formerly was located. A larger play area opened in the Café Court.

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