The 20-year-old ride stopped spinning on Sunday. It will be replaced next summer with an even bigger wheel.
By Hannah Nyhart and Shane Collins
Published Sept. 28, 2015
It’s the end of an era at Navy Pier: The 20-year-old Ferris wheel at the heart of the space made its final spin on Sunday.
Monday morning saw crews dismantling the Ferris wheel that has loomed over Navy Pier for two decades, the gondolas first to go. A replacement wheel—bigger, brighter, better—has been promised for summer 2016. Wheel 2.0 will weigh double the current model, stand 50 feet taller, and hold up to 414 pier-goers at a time.
And the old wheel? Removal will be completed around Halloween, but Pier Communications Director Nick Shields says details are still being finalized with a buyer. The wheel ran for free all night Saturday and took its final, highly publicized spin Sunday evening. Over the course of the weekend, more than 30,000 riders said goodbye to the most visible symbol of a city that makes no little plans.
Watch the final spin of the famous Ferris wheel here.
Update (September 28): According to Shields, Dutch Wheels, the Netherlands–based company behind both rides, is dismantling and taking charge of the current wheel as part of a trade-in agreement.