|George Ferris's Original Wheel, Chicago, 1893.
Well, yeah, but....
Let's not forget the power of the wheel. The original Ferris Wheel saved the Chicago Fair from bankruptcy, despite the fact that there were hundreds of incredible exhibits there, as well as an advanced architectural concept that still fascinates today.
Which brings us to 2010, on the eve of 2011, and the London Eye. The Eye is a modern- day Ferris Wheel, the creation of husband/ wife architectural team David Marks and Julia Barfield. Begun in 1999, it opened in 2000 as the Millennium Wheel, under the primary aegis of British Airways. Soon after it became known as the London Eye.
Situated on the Thames, the Eye has become the United Kingdom's biggest tourist attraction. It has changed the landscape of London, and is a major focal point for movies and TV shows. Thirty two air-conditioned (and presumably heated) capsules hold twenty- five people each. The Eye revolves slowly and apparently, doesn't stop as people get on on and off.
|The capsule, which comfortably holds twenty-five
So- how come there aren't more? One reason is that the Eye has not yet turned (get it?) a profit. Patience, Eye- watchers- it will!
Here in Washington, DC, we have a beautiful river, the Potomac. Some of the most famous sites of the city are on or near the river: the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the Smithsonian, not to mention Arlington Cemetary and the Pentagon.
There's a great park, Haines Point, right there, on the river! Perfect location for the DC Eye. The city is always whining about revenue- let's build an Eye! A sultry summer's evening, a stroll to the park and a ride on the DC Eye.
I can't wait.
Okay- I know it's DC, the home of nothing (except the government- so, close to nothing), the city well- known as the enemy of creativity, graciousness, beauty, etc. but this seems like a no- brainer, even for the morons who run this town. As long as we can keep the Dan Snyders and their ilk out, we could probably get it right within, oh- a good ten or so tries, including bankrupt construction companies, graft, greedy lawyers, corporate indifference, unpaid bills and shoddy construction.
Seriously- the Eye has it!