St. Louis Wheel | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Wheel

The 200-foot-tall St. Louis Wheel, which opened in September, continues to draw a crowd to Union Station.
File photo | David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

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 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 St. Louis Wheel at Union Station last fall. And last Friday, wheel-goers found a special celebration underway: a Valentine’s Day-themed observance of National Ferris Wheel Day.

St. Louis on the Air producers stopped by to take in the scene and speak with riders. Then, on Monday, host Sarah Fenske led a discussion about St. Louis observation wheels past and present.

The St. Louis Wheel at Union Station stands 200-feet-tall. The new attraction in downtown St. Louis will be open year-round.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

A new attraction in downtown St. Louis will open to the public in less than a week — the St. Louis Wheel.

The 200-foot-tall observation wheel at Union Station is part of a multimillion-dollar entertainment complex, which will include an aquarium, mini golf course and soda fountain. 

Architectural illustration of the St. Louis Wheel, which will be built at the Union Station entertainment complex. St. Louis Aquarium
St. Louis Aquarium

Construction will soon begin on a 200-foot observation wheel that will loom large over Union Station and provide sweeping views of the city.

The St. Louis Wheel, with 42 enclosed gondolas, will be among the first attractions to open this fall at the $187 million family entertainment center being built by Lodging Hospitality Management in the historic train shed.

The development’s centerpiece — a two-story aquarium featuring sharks and other water species — will open by the end of the year, company president Steve O’Loughlin said.