A final farewell to the Navy Pier Ferris wheel

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CHICAGO -- At Navy Pier it has stood as the centerpiece of a destination. Not the tallest, not the fastest, but our ambassador to millions of visitors: the Ferris wheel.

On Sunday visitors stood in line overnight, nearly 8,000 of them, for their final ride.

Many came to mark history; after all, Chicago was home to the first Ferris wheel in 1893.

But time has taken its toll; after the 20-year lifespan, circling the equivalent of 57,000 miles, it’s time for a new one.

This isn’t the end of a Ferris wheel at Navy Pier; a new one will be built next year --this one 50 feet taller than the one the that’s watched over a generation of Chicagoans.

 

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