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450 ft ferris wheel may come to Seaport

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NY Post...



May 24, 2004 -- This could be the wheel deal for the Big Apple.

The city is in discussions to erect a giant, fairground-style Ferris wheel on Pier 14 near the South Street Seaport as part of its plans to redevelop the lower Manhattan waterfront, The Post has learned.

Based on a similar British attraction called the London Eye, the wheel would be capable of lifting thousands of fun-seekers up to 450 feet - as high as some of the neighboring office towers.

The plan to bring the observation wheel to the Manhattan waterfront is being spearheaded by the Tussauds Group, one of the backers of the British wheel - but perhaps better known for Madame Tussauds, its chain of celebrity wax-figure museums.

Tussauds Group would only say, "We are actively looking at observation platforms of various types in cities around the globe."

But in a letter to architects last month, officials at Tussauds said they completed a "preliminary investigation of potential opportunities in New York," and would follow up with a detailed, site-specific feasibility study for the project.

"Tussauds has been invited to make an application for sole-source designation," company officials wrote, adding that the city's Economic Development Corp. is seeking "private investment projects as anchors to waterfront development."

Pier 14 and Pier 13 are under EDC's jurisdiction. A spokeswoman for the agency declined to comment on the proposed Ferris wheel.

The riverbank site had once been targeted as the location for a new Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry. But the $950 million project was dropped in 2002 due to concerns about its cost and potential environmental complications.

After the Guggenheim withdrew, city officials continued to call for a cultural institution along the East River in lower Manhattan. A Ferris wheel would be a dramatic departure from that strategy.

A half-hour ride in one of the London Eye's special passenger "capsules" costs around $15 for an adult and $9 for a child. Annual ticket sales are about $70 million, according to the London Eye Co.

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Reminds me of Chicago or London, LOL!

That's about right. You would get great views of the city, the river, and Brooklyn accross the river. Also, great views of the bridges....it would be a top attraction in the city...

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Its still too early to say its going to get built, but it would be worth it for the views alone (Brooklyn, the bridges, the river, the skyscrapers....)

The London Eye




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Yes....i'm afraid of heights :o and would never get on such a ferris wheel. But its still a great idea.

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