There is a Ferris Wheel in Golden Gate Park. To be accurate, it is called the SkyStar Wheel because that sounds more exciting and therefor justifies the $18 ticket ($12 for humans under 12 and over 65) and 9-12 minute ride.
This thing was installed in 2020 as part of the park’s misguided 150th Anniversary celebration. John McLaren, the longest serving and most famous superintendent, would have hated it. He hated the 1894 World’s Fair, which was forced into the area now known as the Music Concourse which houses the Academy of Sciences, DeYoung Museum, and the Japanese Tea Garden. The Tea Garden was a holdover from the 1894 Midwinter Fair and the only thing McLaren liked, because it was a new landscape.
McLaren hated anything that was not natural, but gave a grudging acknowledgement that roads and some buildings were necessary. These he wanted to be few and to blend into the surroundings. He would have considered the SkyStar a goiter on the face of the park.
I had the same opinion when the wheel went up. The Covid hit, and it was shut down for 15 months before ever giving anyone a ride. McLaren would have said nature is telling us something.
It opened last year, and somehow has a lease until 2025. The ride became a big hit, especially on weekends and holidays. Families are having fun, and if it’s something we need more of these days, it is simple pleasures.
So I’ve gotten over myself and stopped being a big grumpasaurus about it marring the landscape. If it sounds like fun, enjoy it folks. I know you need it.
It should be noted that you can get the same view, for free, from the observation tower in the DeYong Museum. The observation tower doesn’t rotate, but you get a 360 view of the park, and the money you save can be spent on wine.