Originally called the Cabot, Cabot and Forbes Tower when it was constructed in 1967 as the centerpiece of their industrial park, this striking 92-foot-tall sculpture by Lucia and 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.
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.
The artists responsible for the sculpture are Lucia and Aristides Demetrios. Aristides Burton Demetrios is the son of a classical sculptor who trained under a student of Rodin. His mother was an award-winning illustrator. Artistic talent was obviously in his blood. He graduated from Harvard, served in the Navy and then continued his study of art. His first major recognition was a design for a fountain on the Stanford University campus. He has since done major public art throughout the United States and the world. In more recent years he has done works for private collectors.
Lucia Eames was married to Demetrios at the time they built our sculpture. Her pedigree is equally distinguished. Her father was Charles Eames, noted for the Eames chair, among other things. He and his wife were architects and furniture designers of considerable fame. The Eames House — along with Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, Mies van der Rohe’s Tugendhat House, and Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye — is considered by some as one of the world’s most significant modern residences.
The Wind Harp was acquired by the City of South San Francisco in 1996 and now sits in the heart of the bioindustry area. A re-dedicated was held on March 28, 1997 in memory of Jake Jones, who promoted the city’s acquisition and refurbishing of the Wind Harp.