The story of this wheel is one more example that the city of Berlin is totally hapless when it comes to decision making.
The original plans were to build the wheel as a part of the "Technic Museum". It would have had its base in the museum and would have been a spectacular architectonic design. But this was opposed for many reasons.
There were also different interest groups who planned to build a wheel on the huge empty plot of land behind the old "Anhalter Bahnhof". So for a time two different designs and two different operators would quarrel over the rights to build this attraction.
When they finally decided to build it behind Bahnhof Zoo (which is only used as a regular underground station after the new Mainstation opened) protesters run amok. The operators of the neighboring "Tiergarten" (Zoo) feared that the animals would be disturbed by the revolving wheel and the "carny atmosphere".
They obviously think that it would be some midway attraction with loud music and flashing lights. Shows what they know...
The plot of land which should house the wheel seems to belong to the university and they claim that they had other plans for the land.
So the Berlin Senate greenlighted the project in january 08 and building begun last december. But only a few days later the Technical University got a court restriction agains the construction.
I am not sure what happened after this.
The wheel is supposed to have a height of 185 meter.
For some simple sketches go here:
Actually, when I used to study at TU Berlin (until 99), I walked past that place pretty often, and usually there were lots of homeless people hanging out there because there was a caritative lunch service and drug-addict consultancy place handing out free sterilised needles on that side of Bahnhof Zoo.
The only good thing is that it's right next to the Tiergarten so people might get a good view from it toward the Siegessaule, Reichstag and Brandenburg gate.
Berlin is making really strange decisions these days...
They just closed down one of the most important media arts places in Germany (Tesla/Podewil) - and now this.
^ Spoken by someone who must have never been on one of these.
Oh, yea they have one of those at one of my local fairs, the Heart of Illinois fair every year. It actually mentions it in the description. Anyways, its been a few years since Ive been there, but I can say it is a frightening experience, and I'll tell you why. When that thing is in full swing, and your coming down, if your at the right spot of your rotation, you will SWEAR that your car rocks back almost to the point where its about to flip you over. Im sure its not as close as if feels, but man let me tell you the first time it happens, it will catch you off guard every time.
They look spectacular, but I have heard a lot of "don't ride it, it's pretty boring" comments from people actually having had a ride on the London Eye, for example.
Well, isn't London usually pretty foggy or hazy? Then again, some people aren't into spectacular views I guess. Heck, when I ride a plane anywhere, I always get neck cramps from peering out the window the entire way.
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