Monday, October 25, 2010

A Downtown Seattle Ferris Wheel

Pier 57 is home to The Crab Pot, Fisherman’s Restaurant, Pirates Plunder and a Ferris wheel? Yes, that’s right. The Pier could also house a Ferris wheel in the near future. The owner of Pier 57 recently applied for a permit to build a giant Ferris wheel to decorate the historic Miner's Landing. The pier, built in 1872, was a key point in shipping routes and one of the few structures to survive the Great Seattle Fire. Hal Griffith, the pier’s owner, hopes to construct a 175-foot wheel with enclosed gondolas, to compensate for unpredictable Seattle weather. A big incentive for the Ferris wheel is to draw a crowd to the waterfront. Because of the recent viaduct issues, Griffith is worried that customers and business will continue to dwindle. A Ferris wheel is a giant (and costly) attraction, but riders will experience phenomenal views and a new, fun amusement park ride. A Ferris wheel is allowed under the existing zoning, but it will have to go through reviews before it is approved. The first would be an environmental and shoreline review, and the second a landmark review, as it is a designated Seattle landmark. If all goes as planned, Belltown and Downtown Seattle residents may expect to have a local Ferris wheel sometime in the next 18 months.


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