Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

Navy Pier Ferris Wheel
I was told that the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel is the world's first Ferris wheel and still the largest ever built. The ocasion was the World Columbian Exposition in 1893.

It is 150 feet high (I was told by I friend of mine and I never bother to convert it in meters but it was HIGH) and gives a wonderful view to the lakefront and Lake Michigan.

In the evening, thousands of lights illuminate the Ferris wheel's spokes.

Working hours
Friday and Saturday: 10.00 h -24.00 h
Sunday to Tuersday: 10.00 h -22.00 h

- Adults $4;
- Seniors $3.50;
- Children Free

The ferris wheel at Navy Pier is not the original one from the 1893 Columbian Exposition. The first Ferris wheel was much larger, and held over 2,160 people at one time. It was shipped to St. Louis for their fair and then dismantled in 1906. The Ferris wheel at Navy Pier only holds 240 people.

  • Address: 600, East Grand Avenue
  • Phone: (312) 559-1212
  • Directions: Navy Pier



    Willis Tower (Formerly Sears Tower): Sears Tower

    Willis Tower
    The 110 story Sears Tower was completed in 1974, &, at that time until 1996 was The World's Tallest Building. At the time it was built, it was the symbol of the vast merchandising empire of Sears, Roebuck & Company, based in Chicago since 1893! The company wanted a large building 6,500 employees. The idea was to consolidate offices that were scattered across the city.

    This site on South Wacker Drive was chosen because it was close to commuter railroad stations, the Elevated, the CTA bus routes, & all 3 expressways.

    The building was limited to 1,454 feet by the Federal Aviation Authority. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architectual Firm designed the building. They used a "bundled tube building procedure" because the perimeter columns brace the building against the wind. Their frames are interlocked, & each tube helps support its neighboring tube.

    Setbacks are used above the 50th floor which help to deflect the horizontal wind stress. These setbacks make for sound design & a powerful profile on Chicago's skyline. It can be seen for great distances.

    Originally, the large floors in the base building were occupied by Sears; the upper floors were (and still are) rented. This building uses high-speed, double-deck express elevators & sky lobbies for transfers to local elevators.

    Even though the building itself reflects sound engineering & sucessful architecture design, much criticism has been given concerning the granite-paved plaza surrounding the base of the tower. It's been called, "cheerless space, virtually devoid of seating or landscaping & generally devoid of people." Thus, 10 years after it was built, a 4-story, vaulted atrium was added to welcome arrivals on Wacker Drive. Also, a major entrance was added on Jackson Boulevard in a $25 million dollar renovation.

    The Skydeck occupies the 103rd floor. Its own entrance is on Jackson Boulevard.
    More than 1.5 million visitors come each year!

    Directions: Corner of Jackson and Franklin. Entrance on Jackson Blvd. On the Loop, exit on Quincy station and walk west along Quincy Street.