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World’s Tallest Ferris Wheel Coming to NY?

Credit: S9 Architecture / Perkins Eastman
Credit: S9 Architecture / Perkins Eastman

The artist’s rendering of the New York Wheel looks impressive, sitting at the northeastern tip of Staten Island, with great views of the harbor and the Manhattan skyline. It could be the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, or at least in the western hemisphere…when and if it gets completed.

Right now progress has stalled. So, the questions abound:

When will it be done? First announced by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2012, it was to be completed by 2015. The new target is 2018.

Does size matter? Of course. When the London Eye debuted in 2000 it was the world’s tallest. Its success was applauded and emulated. In the next decade, wheels in China and Singapore eclipsed the Eye. At 550 feet, the High Roller in Las Vegas has held the title since 2014.

Have others been in the running? Yup. Construction on the Dubai Eye (below), designed to be 689 feet, was stalled for two years, but has resumed. The New York Wheel (625 feet) is one of about 20 other wheel projects over the past decade that have either been under construction, delayed or abandoned. Kinda like that deck you’ve been building at home.

What exactly is the holdup? According to New York Wheel spokesperson Cristyne Nicholas, due to the design-build company’s failure “to meet multiple design and construction deadlines, the developer has come to the conclusion that the best path forward for this project is to seek other means to take on the remaining aspects of that ‘turnkey’ arrangement.” In other words, if you’d like to build this baby, get your bid in.

Are there other pictures of what it would look like? Oh yeah. Here’s another one of our favorites from the New York Wheel website:

Credit: S9 Architecture / Perkins Eastman
Credit: S9 Architecture / Perkins Eastman

Why are these attractions called “Ferris” wheels? Because the original one, built for the Chicago Exposition of 1893, then dismantled and shipped to the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, was invented by George Ferris.

How much will it cost to ride? Ballpark figure is around $35. There might be discount prices for certain groups. Rides after 10:00 pm could be $45. Rides after midnight are free, but you get arrested.

What would it take to set the world record for riding a Ferris wheel? Patience. The current mark, set in 2015 by a 30-year-old Russian, is 52 straight hours. Bring a good novel or five.

Check Out Some Other New Rides at Sylvan Beach

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