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Old 02-07-2019, 07:40 AM   #1
statler
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Proposed Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront

A 200-foot observation wheel on Boston’s Long Wharf?

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Imagine soaring 200 feet above Boston Harbor. Off the end of Long Wharf. On a giant wheel.

That’s the vision a group of Canadian developers have been discreetly pitching to waterfront neighborhood groups and City Hall in recent weeks, hoping to build support for a plan to build an “observation wheel” off of Long Wharf. The structure would extend over the water, with two buildings and outdoor seating. Such a complex, no doubt, would enliven — and forever change — one of the most historic spots on Boston’s waterfront.

If it ever happens.

The plans are so preliminary that organizers wouldn’t share images with the Globe, saying they are likely to change. They haven’t even nailed down a site: In addition to Long Wharf, Christopher Columbus Park and other busy spots on the downtown waterfront are under consideration.
We couldn't even get a restaurant built on the end of Long Wharf.

I will never understand the fascination with Ferris Wheels.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:08 AM   #2
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Re: Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront?

File under: If you can't build something useful, build something stupid.

(Tourists and suburbanites probably won't be able to tell the difference.)
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:28 AM   #3
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Re: Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront

I long for the development proposal that puts a Boston Museum on East Pier in Jeffries Point, East Boston, and add to the experience by constructing an aerial gondola that goes between it and Long Wharf/Commercial Wharf. It will serve to spur some tourist investment into Eastie (which can handle denser development), engage people with the harbor, and have the added bonus of providing an alternative transportation solution for people from East Boston into Downtown.

There isn't a better view of Boston's waterfront than there is looking at it from East Boston... we should celebrate that.

Boston Harbor View by Derek Shooster, on Flickr
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:07 AM   #4
HalcyonEra
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Re: Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront

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Originally Posted by statler View Post
A 200-foot observation wheel on Boston’s Long Wharf?



We couldn't even get a restaurant built on the end of Long Wharf.

I will never understand the fascination with Ferris Wheels.
Do you have kids and if so, do you travel with them?

Off the top of my head, we've rode them in Seattle, London, Vienna, Chicago, DC, LA (santa monica), Dallas. Sure it's a tourist trap, but it's a cheap one and, at least for me, other than doing an on-off double decker bus, it is a great and relaxing way to see the city you are visiting and get a lay of the land.

Frankly, I don't get the all the resistance that inevitably arises, aside from an appropriate location.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:50 AM   #5
SlothofDespond
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Re: Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront

Why was this labeled "Freedom" Wheel? That's not mentioned in the article. Is it some bizarre political statement that has no place here? I don't get it.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:53 AM   #6
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Re: Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront

From the article:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Globe
...the group, which calls itself Boston Freedom Wheel LLC...
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:57 AM   #7
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Re: Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront

Dont build it in front of the skyline... that would ruin it. Anyways common sense 101 says the best skyline views are not from within the skyline... but looking towards it from the outside, so if they absolutely need this... build it in Eastie, Charlestown...etc. The picture above shows it best Eastie has probably the best views.... because your able to see it in its entirety from across the harbor. We dont watch tv from inside of the set, you sit back a ways from it and look at it.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:10 PM   #8
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Re: Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront

Finally. I love Ferris Wheels for the simple fact that it is a relatively cheap option for when you are going on a casual date with your significant other or just hanging with friends and looking for something low-key to do for fun. This despite the fact I have acrophobia.

It's more accessible than like say, "Hey let's pay $20 each to go up the Skywalk where we can just stand and stare."
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:11 PM   #9
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Re: Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront

This amusement park gimmick would be a great fit for the Lawn on D
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:21 PM   #10
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Re: Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront

CALLING ALL SHADOW POLICE! WE'VE GOT A CODE RED ON LONG WHARF. ALL UNITS PLEASE RESPOND!!!
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:24 PM   #11
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Re: Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront

I always thought that an observation wheel near the Children's Museum would be a good choice. But that may be too close to downtown to appreciate the skyline view. Also with all of the new development lately it may be difficult to find a good site. Wasn't there an article in the Globe years ago about an observation wheel near the Museum of Science? Have not heard anything since then.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:38 PM   #12
jass
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Re: Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront

Everybody has a Ferris wheel this day.


Lets do something unique. A reverse wheel. That is, one that takes you underwater.

Pros:
Wont block any views.
NIMBys cant complain.
100% unique
Ties into the whole Aquarium business

Cons:
Theres probably nothing to see down there
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:43 PM   #13
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Re: Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront

It seems to work fine in Montreal as the centerpiece of a pretty nice, active, and modern waterfront on the edge of Vieux Montreal. It also is a great vantage point for the city and the skyline. You have great layers - you look straight down/back on the waterfront, you have the dense historic streets of Vieux Montreal in the foreground along with Notre Dame, and the dome of the Antique Fair. And as a backdrop, you have the skyline and Mont Royal itself. Nicely situated.

Long Wharf is too close to downtown to replicate that. A better (albeit impossible) location would be the Coast Guard pier at the end of the Hanover St. extension. I'm no fan of Ferris Wheels, but it would be pretty awesome looking out over the dense street grid of the North End, the spire of the Old North Church in the foreground, the financial district skyline in front, panning to the right and getting the Back Bay Spine, Charles River, Cambridge, etc. I think the State House dome would be blocked which is unfortunate. It would also be a neat feature along Memorial Drive.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:44 PM   #14
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Re: Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront

GREAT IDEA to welcome the overall public to enjoy these water views.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:47 PM   #15
Lrfox
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Re: Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront

Quote:
Originally Posted by jass View Post
Everybody has a Ferris wheel this day.


Lets do something unique. A reverse wheel. That is, one that takes you underwater.

Pros:
Wont block any views.
NIMBys cant complain.
100% unique
Ties into the whole Aquarium business

Cons:
Theres probably nothing to see down there
How about we replace the Citgo Sign with a triangular version of a Ferris Wheel that we can call a "Kenmore Triangle." Everyone would want to go see the Kenmore Triangle at Kenmore Square. Views would be pretty great.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:31 PM   #16
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Re: Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront

Quote:
Originally Posted by jass View Post
Everybody has a Ferris wheel this day.


Lets do something unique.
"Give me the Freedom Zipper or give me death!"

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Old 02-07-2019, 01:32 PM   #17
cadetcarl
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Re: Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront

I think Eastie would be the best--I'd love to see an expanded Piers Park (which still feels like a hidden gem), maybe rebuild that disused pier to the west of the Noddle Island Pier. Instantly makes it one of the coolest spots in town.

Alternately I could see one near the pavilion in the seaport. I have to confess I'm not super well-versed on all the parcels and what's going on down there but it looks like there are two piers, like a drydock, which appear to be in disuse, and also there's a lot between the Blue Hills Bank pavilion and Harpoon (where they have Octoberfest I think) which would make for a killer festival ground if it were expanded and integrated.

Not the best to put it near the aquarium, the first row of tall buildings along Atlantic/Surface Rd would the only thing to see.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:52 PM   #18
tangent
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Re: Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront

Put it on Big Dig Parcel 12 on the Greenway... the ramp parcel. Close proximity to the merry go round and Quincy Market. And most of the buildings around there are relatively small so you will get some good views.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:56 PM   #19
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Re: Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront

I like the idea, hate the name.
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Old 02-07-2019, 03:59 PM   #20
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Re: Boston Freedom Wheel | Long Wharf? | Waterfront

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSTH View Post
"Give me the Freedom Zipper or give me death!"

TBH I agree. The zippers the best ride lmao
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