After nearly 3 years in operation, San Francisco’s SkyStar Observation Wheel said goodbye to Golden Gate Park, moving across town to 2860 Taylor Street, a triangular-shaped lot at Pier 43, near Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf.
The transition occurred within the context of APEC, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which has brought thousands of visitors to the City. The Wheel was scheduled to remain in San Francisco until March 2025, but a recent press release from the Office of the Mayor noted that the “Wheel will operate at its new location for six months under a special event permit from the Port of San Francisco. For future planning consideration, the Port is open to extending that timeline after first engaging with community, residents, businesses, and the Port Commission.”
While there was plenty of heavy lifting all around to relocate the ferris wheel, which was placed in 2020 as part of Golden Gate Park’s 150th-anniversary celebration from the Music Concourse between de Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences to Fisherman’s Wharf, Mill Valley native Todd Barbee, a multi-talented designer, helped make the transition happen.
“I still cannot believe we actually got all the planning, engineering, and everything else approved by the Port, the city, the BCDC, and the State under this impossible deadline,” Barbee says. “It’s not a stretch to say this is historic. It is so gratifying for me to be the site planner/designer, and that my vision for how this thing would sit in this tight space and be an efficient operation has been adopted. But that was just one piece to this massive and crazy puzzle. It is an exceptional team on this project. Very exciting indeed!”