Seattle gets a new landmark – The Pier 57 Ferris Wheel

Pier 57 Ferris Wheel

Pier 57 Ferris Wheel


Since April, Seattle has been watching the construction of a fabulous new white ferris wheel on Pier 57 of the downtown waterfront.  What a beautiful thing it is!  When it’s finished late in June or early July 2012, it will be open all year around and will take riders 200 feet in the air.  The developer, Hal Griffith, who also owns Pier 57, wanted something to keep people coming to the waterfront during the 5 year demolition of the viaduct and construction of the new waterfront tunnel.   Everyone I’ve talked to thinks it is wonderful.

My friends and I wanted to get a great view of the nearly complete Pier 57 Ferris Wheel, so we decided that a quick ferry ride to Bainbridge Island and back would be perfect.  As we pulled away from the dock, the downtown rose up behind the ferris wheel in such a grand way.  The white of the ferris wheel was in stark contrast to the downtown buildings and clearly stands out even from the other side of the Puget Sound at the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal.  What a glorious thing for Seattle.  I, for one, am super excited for it to open, and I will be among the first to take a ride.

I think this is a really great thing for the waterfront.  I hope people will love it and ride it a lot when it is open.  It would be great to build a companion roller coaster along the waterfront too once the tunnel project is done.    Seattle has the opportunity to do something truly amazing and world class with it’s waterfront in the next few years.  This beautiful Pier 57 Ferris Wheel is a really great start!

Update: This is now being called the Seattle Great Wheel.

Pier 57 Ferris Wheel

Pier 57 Ferris Wheel


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About John R. Wells

I'm a 20 year resident of Capitol Hill in Seattle. There is magic here.   Bio
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3 Responses to Seattle gets a new landmark – The Pier 57 Ferris Wheel

  1. Nani says:

    Hi John,
    I really like this first photo you took of the wheel. I’ve been looking for one I could post along with a short news blurb on (I’m their website storyteller.) One of Geo’s geotechnical engineers designed the wheel’s foundation and enhanced pier supports. Most photos don’t actually show the pier the way your photo does. Would you drop me a line, please? Thanks, -NP

  2. Tanya says:

    Hi John,

    I couldn’t quite figure out how to e-mail you so I hope you don’t mind me posting a comment instead. I stumbled upon your picture of the Seattle Great Wheel via Google and I really liked it! I was hoping to use your picture as part of a silhouette design that I am creating for one of my classes at the University of Washington. However, I wanted to ask your permission before I used it. I can show you the final design if you’re interested as well. Please let me know if this request is possible! I would greatly appreciate it.


    • john says:

      Hi Tanya. I’m glad you like the picture! Feel free to use it. I’d love to see the final design when you are done. Good luck! :)

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