Thursday, June 11, 2015

The New York Wheel: Myth or Reality

The New York Wheel is a 625-foot (190.5 m) tall giant Ferris Wheel planned for construction in St. George, Staten Island. The wheel will have 36 passenger capsules, each carrying up to 40 passengers, and a total maximum capacity of 1,440 people per ride. Up to 30,000 passengers per day and about 4.5 million per year are expected to ride what is said to be the largest Ferris Wheel in the United States, and one of the largest in the world. A single ride is expected to last about 38 minutes.

The official New York Wheel website states that “The Wheel is expected to begin construction in First Quarter, 2015”, with “a target opening date of early 2017.” As of this post, we are fast approaching the third quarter, 2015, and as far as I can ascertain construction has yet to begin on the proposed site. 

There have been many engineering and architectural renderings depicting the views from the top of the New York Wheel, with the above image being just one of many. Will the New York Wheel even get built? I certainly hope so. I for one would be more than happy to line up for an opportunity to enjoy a unique view of New York harbor, the Manhattan skyline, and Staten Island itself. Apart from the architectural renderings, it is hard to image what an actual ride on the Wheel might be like. However, one enterprising drone operator has recorded a two minute film over the proposed site which seeks to give a realistic view from one of the massive passenger capsules.

The footage seems to have been recorded early one morning as the sun rises over Brooklyn, and one can see freighters entering New York harbor, a ferry entering the St George terminal, distant views of the Statue of Liberty, and of course the Manhattan skyline.

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