In 1889 the Eiffel Tower was created as a landmark structure for the World’s Fair in Paris. It was named after the engineer, Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed the wrought iron tower.
In 1893 the Chicago World’s Fair wanted to create a monumental landmark that was greater than the Eiffel Tower. George Ferris presented his designs of a large wheel. His designs were rejected many times because of a fear that people would be hurt. Finally his wheel ride was accepted. Once the wheel was up and running in Chicago, attendance increased and it became a popular attraction. It was 264 feet tall and had 36 wooden carts.
Ferris wheels have become landmark structures since the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. Today these monuments are found all over the world ranging in height from 82 to 550 feet. The tallest is found in Las Vegas, Nevada. It stands at 550 feet high.
The Washington DC metro area welcomed its first Ferris wheel over Memorial Day Weekend. The Capital Wheel at National Harbor is a monumental landmark that visually enhances the waterfront along the Potomac River. It stands 180 feet high. When the sun sets behind the Capital Wheel, the colored lights come on. The colors outline the contours of the wheel as they dance along the structure. The computerized display is a mesmerizing show that brings the Capital Wheel alive.
Looking at the wheel is only one of the visual experiences it offers. Riding the wheel allows the participant to experience the views along the Potomac River of DC, Virginia and Maryland. Ride the wheel at sunset and experience the beauty of the natural colors in the sky as the electronic lights on the wheel begin their dance.