Seattle Great Wheel

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Seattle Great Wheel
Seattle Great Wheel ferris wheel seen from Argosy cruise.jpg
Seattle Great Wheel is located in Seattle WA Downtown
Seattle Great Wheel
Location within downtown Seattle
General information
TypeFerris wheel
LocationSeattle, Washington
Address1301 Alaskan Way
Town or citySeattle
CountryUnited States
Coordinates47°36′22″N 122°20′33″W / 47.6061°N 122.3425°W / 47.6061; -122.3425Coordinates: 47°36′22″N 122°20′33″W / 47.6061°N 122.3425°W / 47.6061; -122.3425
Construction startedApril 17, 2012[3]
OpenedJune 29, 2012[4]
Cost$20 million[1]
OwnerGreat Western Pacific[2][better source needed]
Height175 feet (53.3 m)[4]
Design and construction
Structural engineerChance Rides[5] GeoEngineers, B&T Design and Engineering[citation needed]
Main contractorManson Construction Co.[citation needed]

The Seattle Great Wheel is a giant Ferris wheel at Pier 57 on Elliott Bay in Seattle, Washington. 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.[4][6]

Opening day[edit]

The inauguration ceremony and opening to the public was 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.[7] Approximately 200 people lined up for the first ride on the wheel.[4]

Construction and design[edit]

Seattle was the third city in North America to offer a wheel of this design,[6] following the Niagara SkyWheel at Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, Canada, which is also 175 feet (53.3 m) tall, and the larger Myrtle Beach SkyWheel in South Carolina, which is 187 feet (57.0 m) tall. The Seattle wheel is the only one of the three to be built over water.[6]

The Seattle Great Wheel has 42 climate-controlled gondolas, each able to carry up to eight passengers (except the luxury VIP gondola, which had red leather seats and a glass floor, and seats four),[2] giving a maximum capacity of 332.[8] The 12-minute, three-revolution ride extends 40 feet (12.2 m) out over Elliott Bay.[4][9][10]

Long exposure photo of Great Wheel lights at night
Seattle skyline and Great Wheel near twilight


  1. ^ Nolasco, Joanna (June 1, 2012). "Structures: 170,000-pound wheel on the pier? That's a tall order!". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved 2012-07-02.
  2. ^ a b Laura L. Myers (June 29, 2012). "Seattle's new landmark Great Wheel opening on waterfront". Chicago Tribune. Reuters. Retrieved 2012-07-02.
  3. ^ "Seattle: What's New?". Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e Sullivan, Jennifer (June 29, 2012). "The Seattle Great Wheel opens to a big crowd". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2012-07-02.
  5. ^ Levesque, John (June 2012). "Recreation: Big Wheel". Seattle Business Magazine. Retrieved 2012-06-30.
  6. ^ a b c Kugiya, Hugo (June 29, 2012). "What 'Seattle process'? Big wheel turns up fast". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved 2012-07-02.
  7. ^ "Grand opening of Seattle's Great Wheel". June 29, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-30.
  8. ^ "Seattle Great Wheel". Seattle Great Wheel. September 1, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
  9. ^ "Seattle's Great Wheel opening pushed back to June 29". KING-TV. June 20, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-30.
  10. ^ "Seattle Great Wheel".

External links[edit]