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New, taller Ferris wheel to open May 27 at Navy Pier

Gondolas are installed on the new Navy Pier Ferris Wheel last month. | Nick Ulivieri/AP

Chicago’s Navy Pier will open its new, taller Ferris wheel on May 27.

The opening will kick off Navy Pier’s centennial celebration, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office said Wednesday.

The new 196-foot Ferris wheel will stand 49 feet taller and fit up to 180 more passengers per ride than the previous attraction, which opened in 1995 and was removed in January.

The replacement also will have temperature-controlled gondolas, padded seats, TV screens and speakers. It’s part of a $640 million project approved in 2013 aimed at drawing more tourists and trade shows to Chicago.

The city’s history with the Ferris wheel runs deep. The first one was built in 1893 in Chicago for the World’s Columbian Exposition.

The gondalas on the new Ferris wheel at Navy Pier are enclosed, and hold more people. |  Nick Ulivieri/PRNewsFoto
The gondalas on the new Ferris wheel at Navy Pier are enclosed, and hold more people. | Nick Ulivieri/PRNewsFoto