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Chicago proposes giant Ferris wheel

CHICAGO, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Chicago wants to put a giant Ferris wheel at its Navy Pier that is at least twice the size of the one there now, officials said.

Proponents say the Ferris wheel, to be developed privately, would rise at least 300 feet and bring in more tourists, the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday.

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The Pier Authority is seeking designs for the amusement ride that "must be worthy to inherit the traditions of the original Ferris wheel built by George Washington Ferris," the bid document says.

Officials want a developer to construct the wheel and share a portion of its revenue with the pier.

Chicago is the birthplace of the Ferris Wheel. The Windy City introduced a 264-foot-tall ride to the world in the Columbian Exposition in 1893, said Ted Tetzlaff, board chairman of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, which owns and operates the pier.

"We see no reason why we can't contribute another creative chapter in Ferris wheel tradition," he said. "We're basically looking for the wheel to be self-financed, so taxpayer money will not be involved."

The tallest Ferris wheel in the world is in Singapore, standing 541 feet tall.

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