Patriotic Ferris Wheel
The Seattle Great Wheel has a wonderful light show! On this night it seemed to be a patriotic theme. Red, white, and blue. They have their light shows on the weekends, and it usually correspondes to some event that is taking place in the city that night. I'm not sure what was going on this night, that would be of a red, white, and blue nature? I was totally into looking at the changing colors for quite a long time. Here is a little history of it. The Seattle Great Wheel is a giant Ferris wheel located on Pier 57 on the banks of Puget Sound in Seattle, Washington, United States. With an overall height of 175 feet (53.3 m) it was the tallest Ferris wheel on the west coast of the United States when it opened on June 29, 2012. Participants in the ceremony, which took place at 2:30 p.m., included a presentation of colors by the US Coast Guard, a speech by Seattle mayor Michael McGinn, and entertainment by the University of Washington cheerleaders, spirit team, and marching band. Approximately 200 people lined up for the first ride on the wheel.Tickets cost $13 per person, with discounts for children and seniors. One luxury VIP gondola with red leather seats and a glass floor is available and costs $50 per person.
Construction and design Seattle was the third city in North America to offer a wheel of this design following the Niagara SkyWheel at Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, Canada, which is also 175 feet (53 m) tall, and the larger Myrtle Beach SkyWheel in South Carolina, which is 187 feet (57 m) tall. The Seattle wheel is the only one of the three to be built over water.The Seattle Great Wheel has 42 climate-controlled gondolas, each able to carry up to eight passengers, giving a maximum capacity of 252. The 12-minute ride extends 40 feet (12 m) out over Elliott Bay. Development history Seattle businessman and waterfront developer Hal Griffith has envisioned a Ferris wheel on Elliott Bay for nearly 30 years. Along with his family, he is the owner of the Pier 57 upon which the Seattle Great Wheel is located. In addition to the wheel, the pier is the location of Miner's Landing, which consists of souvenir gift shops, tourist attractions, and variety of seafood restaurants.During the 1980s, Griffith began developing plans to ensure the perpetual existence and success of the family's business ventures on the pier. His plans had long included continual development of the waterfront on Puget Sound to provide entertainment and recreational opportunities for tourists and local residents. His goal was to drive success through innovative ideas, staying a step ahead of the competition. Griffith often met logistical and political roadblocks that inhibited development on the waterfront, but he was determined to build the Ferris wheel on Pier 57, located adjacent to the Alaskan Way Viaduct During development and acquisition of the wheel, the State of Washington, King County, the City of Seattle, and the Port of Seattle solidified plans to dig a tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct, which had been damaged in an earthquake in 2001. The plans included creating an underground tunnel that would run beneath the city's downtown core. The initial phase of demolition and removal of the viaduct began on October 21, 2011.The new tunnel is scheduled to open between late 2015 and early 2016. While the traffic issue would be resolved, the plans call for bypassing the businesses on the waterfront, hindering development on the bay. Griffith was concerned that without a large tourist attraction, many waterfront businesses would suffer and go out of business during construction. The Seattle Great Wheel was designed to resolve these issues and draw visitors to the waterfront.While Griffith applied for building permits in November 2010, the project took approximately three years to complete. General work outside of actual building included retrofitting the pilings that support the pier.
April 15th, 2013
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