Monday: St. Louis Ferris Wheel Is Part Of Century-Old Tradition | St. Louis Public Radio

Monday: St. Louis Ferris Wheel Is Part Of Century-Old Tradition

Feb 13, 2020

This interview will be on “St. Louis on the Air” over the noon hour Monday. This story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

Following months of crowds and fanfare, most of the infrastructure associated with the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair was demolished soon after the festivities ended. That included George Ferris Jr.’s giant wheel, which had first debuted in Chicago in 1893 and boasted 36 observation cars — “each the size of a Bi-State bus,” as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch later described them.

But Ferris’ legacy survived the dynamite and has seen something of a resurgence locally since the opening of the 200-foot-tall St. Louis Wheel at Union Station last fall. And on Friday, wheel-goers will find a special celebration underway there: a very Valentine’s Day-themed observance of National Ferris Wheel Day.

St. Louis on the Air will be stopping by to take in the scene. Then, on Monday, host Sarah Fenske will lead a discussion about St. Louis observation wheels past and present.

She’ll talk with Jody Sowell, managing director of strategic initiatives at the Missouri Historical Society, and with Karyn Wilder, general manager of the St. Louis Wheel.

What’s your fondest memory related to Ferris wheels? Let us know and we may use your comments on air or online. Tweet us (@STLonAir), send an email to or share your thoughts via our St. Louis on the Air Facebook group.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Joshua Phelps. The engineer is Aaron Doerr and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

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