5 Giant Ferris Wheels That Were Never Built

Unbuilt Ferris wheels: the Great Berlin Wheel (Image: Jan Przerwa; giant Ferris wheels that were never built)

Many of us are familiar with the London Eye, a giant £70 million Ferris wheel (with its own Twitter account), towering 443 ft above the South Bank of the River Thames. We even included it in our recent feature covering 20 awe-inspiring landmarks of the world. In this article, we thought we’d examine five similar rotating structures, several of them proposed by the Great Wheel Corporation, that never quite began to turn.

Great Berlin Wheel (Germany)

An artist's impression of the unbuilt Great Berlin Wheel (Image: Pott Architects)

Slated to take pride of place near the Berlin Zoological Garden, the Great Berlin Wheel would stand 607-ft-tall and hold 36 passenger capsules (later revised down to 574 ft and 28 capsules). The giant observation wheel was set to open in 2008, having broken ground the previous year, but fell by the wayside due to financial woes. Had it gone ahead, the Great Berlin Wheel would have been the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. That accolade has since gone to the High Roller on the Las Vegas Strip.

Beijing Great Wheel (China)

The Beijing Great Wheel should have begun turning in 2008 in time for the 2008 Summer Olympics. But a year earlier, it was reported in China’s state media that the project had been delayed until 2009 (and later 2010) due to design problems. Had the project succeeded, the giant 682 ft observation wheel, with its 48 air conditioned capsules, would again have become the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, with passengers able to see the Great Wall of China to the north.

Great Orlando Wheel (USA)

On a 20-acre lot adjacent to the Orlando-Orange County Convention Center, the Great Orlando Wheel was set to reach 400 ft into the sky, offering 25 mile panoramic views of the surrounding Florida landscape. Attractions including Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld would all have been visible to passengers, as would rocket launches from the Kennedy Space Center near Cape Canaveral. Unfortunately the project was halted in 2010 and the land put up for sale.

Great Dubai Wheel (United Arab Emirates)

(Image: via Construction Week Online)

Planning permission for the 607-ft-high Great Dubai Wheel was granted in 2006. But like other giant observation structures on this list, the 30-capsule Ferris wheel was doomed to fail. Expected to open in 2009 at a cost of AED 250 million, the grand project was soon halted. The financial crisis of 2007–2008 had put many construction projects in Dubailand on hold by 2008, and in 2012, it was announced that the much-anticipated Great Dubai Wheel would no longer be built.

Jeddah Eye (Saudi Arabia)

Another giant Ferris wheel proposed in 2008, construction of what would have become a 492 ft icon of the Saudi Arabian city was due to commence in 2009, with an opening date of 2012. But little more was heard of the Jeddah Eye, which seems to have gone the same way as the other massive observation decks outlined above.

(Image: Jan Przerwa)

Above: an artist’s impression showing the dramatic entrance concourse of the Great Berlin Wheel in Germany.

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About the author: Tom

 

Website: https://www.urbanghostsmedia.com

 

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