WBEZ | Ferris wheel http://www.wbez.org/tags/ferris-wheel Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en NYC wants a turn: Big Apple seeks to build world's largest Ferris wheel http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-10/nyc-wants-turn-big-apple-seeks-build-worlds-largest-ferris-wheel-102799 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/11623966-standard.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">The world&#39;s largest Ferris Wheel &mdash; four times the size of the one at Navy Pier&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;is being planned for a shoreline site on New York&#39;s Staten Island, according to the New York City&#39;s mayor&#39;s office.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The 625 ft. tall wheel would have views of Manhattan and would feature an outlet mall, retail and a hotel. The mayor&#39;s office said private funds were being raised to finance the $230 million project. The &quot;New York Wheel&quot; is expected to hold more than 1,000 passengers. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014. In an Associated Press story on the wheel&#39;s announcement, Sen. Charles Schumer of New York said the big device would be &quot;Staten Island&#39;s Eiffel Tower.&quot;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;This is a<em> very </em>big wheel,&quot; NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said during its announcement last week. The idea was among proposals the city solicited for the site.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Good luck to the Big Apple. But Chicago did the same thing&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;even referring to the Eiffel Tower as comparison, 119 years ago. The Ferris wheel debuted here as a signature piece of the famed 1893 World&#39;s Fair. Built in the fair&#39;s midway &mdash;&nbsp;the present day Midway Plaisance that runs past the University of Chicago campus&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;the spinning 264 ft. colossus was only about 40 ft. shorter than downtown&#39;s Masonic Temple, then world&#39;s tallest building.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The wheel was the brainchild of George Washington Gale Ferris, a 34-year-old engineer. His idea was well-received by world&#39;s fair planners who wanted an attraction that rivaled the Eiffel Tower, which had been the darling of the 1889 Exposition Universelle in France. Here&#39;s the Ferris Wheel at the fair. The gondolas were as big as present day &quot;L&quot; train cars:</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/photo_ferris_wheel_chicago.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">After the fair, the wheel was dismantled and reassembled at Clark and Wrightwood where it was to be the titular attraction of the planned Ferris Wheel Park, a venture not unlike the one planned for Staten Island. The park would have included a theater, restaurant and other attractions, but it never materialized.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The wheel was re-erected in 1904 for St. Louis&#39; world&#39;s fair, the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. The engineering marvel sat abandoned for a year after the fair closed. It was demolished in 1906, courtesy of 200 lbs. of dynamite.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But the wheel&#39;s allure remained. For more than a century after its destruction, the Ferris Wheel has become a mainstay of carnivals, fair grounds and amusement parks across the world. The 541ft. Singapore Flyers is currently the world&#39;s largest Ferris wheel. The 150ft Navy Pier Ferris Wheel is the 9th largest wheel in the U.S.</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 05 Oct 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-10/nyc-wants-turn-big-apple-seeks-build-worlds-largest-ferris-wheel-102799