Sports and Special Structures // Attractions

Ferris Wheel for World’s Fair

Project Overview - Ferris Wheel, World's Fair

Location: New York, New York
Client: United States Rubber Company

Hardesty & Hanover designed a 80’ diameter, 96 passenger, welded tubular construction amusement ride for the 1964 World Fair. At the time it was the “World’s Largest Tire” which was also a working Ferris Wheel. It now sits in Detroit serving as a tourist attraction.

About 2 million people rode the wheel, including Jacqueline Kennedy and the Shah of Iran.
Allen Park’s giant tire as seen by night.

After the fair, the mammoth 86-foot tire was dismantled and shipped by rail to Detroit, where it was reassembled outside a Uniroyal sales office. Later the sales office moved but the tire stayed put, becoming a symbol of Detroit’s industrial might.

The interior’s Ferris wheel assembly went to an amusement park and a new framework of structural steel was built to support the giant attraction. The tire weighs more than 100 tons and took 130 days to rebuild. The tire, described as “the largest ever built,” is designed to withstand hurricane force winds, and certainly blowouts.