Wind Harp – South San Francisco, California - Atlas Obscura
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South San Francisco, California

Wind Harp

A large instrument played by the wind. 

Perched on a hilltop in a South San Francisco industrial park, this striking 92-foot-tall sculpture by Aristides Demetrios is one of the world’s largest aeolian harps. Named for Aeolus, the Greek god of the wind, and invented by the 17th-century polymath Athanasius Kircher, an aeolian harp is a passive instrument played by the movement of the wind.

Originally called the Cabot, Cabot and Forbes Tower when it was constructed in 1967 as the centerpiece of their industrial park.

Fabricated from steel manufactured at Bethlehem Steel.  It was designed to “take advantage of the viewer’s motion…constantly changing, presenting a series of graceful ellipses and a shifting light pattern.”  Be sure to visit on a breezy day to hear the eerie sounds of the arched steel I-beams singing at their loudest.

Situated 243 feet above sea level, the site also offers a beautiful panoramic view of South San Francisco and the Bay. In turn, the Wind Harp can be seen from the Bay Bridge, East Bay and from the San Francisco Airport.

Be sure to visit on a breezy day to hear the eerie sounds of the arched and rusted steel I-beams singing at their loudest. Situated 243 feet above sea level, the site also offers a beautiful panoramic view of South San Francisco and the Bay.

Know Before You Go

It is located amongst the buildings of Genetech. You don't have to enter the campus to access the Wind Harp. You can see the Wind Harp sign from the road. There are some parking lots on either side of the Wind Harp entrance. Going on the weekends is probably best to avoid parking issues with the surrounding businesses.