Residents learned more about a proposed observation wheel at the end of Long Wharf on the Boston Harbor at the February Wharf District Council meeting.

Boston Freedom Wheel, LLC is proposing a 200-foot observation wheel and plans include a 2 story café, outdoor seating.

Rendering of the Boston Freedom Wheel.

Brian Burke, of Boston Freedom Wheel, said they are in the very early initial plans of the wheel. If approved, the wheel would be operated by the same people who operate La Grande Roue de Montreal in Canada. They operate 365 days a year from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., but Burke said Boston would most likely have different hours.

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“It’s a great opportunity for people to see the city in a different light,” said Burke.

Montreal’s wheel has become a premiere destination spot in just a few short years since opening. Burke believes the same thing can happen in Boston. Buenos Aries and other cities in Canada are also considering getting a wheel.

“It will boost tourism,” said Burke. 

Burke insisted that while it may look similar, it is not a Ferris wheel. “We are not playing carnival music,” he said.

They considered locating the wheel at the Charlestown Navy Yard, but said it would be too far away from the rest of the city for tourists. They also considered near the Seaport, but didn’t think the views would be as impressive as what Long Wharf can offer.

Burke is hoping this can also become a premiere destination spot where people can get married and have other celebrations.

They came up with the name Freedom Wheel because they thought it represented Boston perfectly.

Burke said he is just beginning to talk to different community groups and government agencies to see if the project is even viable in Boston and if it would be welcomed by residents.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. “It will boost tourism” I don’t think a Ferris wheel and they can call it anything they want but let’s call it what it is a gimmick to make $ is needed to attract tourism in Boston.Channel 5 recently did a story on the proposed Freedom wheel and reported the cost would be 25 dollars a
    head to ride the wheel. 👎

    • That is, unless they find away to receive taxpayer subsidy to promote tourism. They are counting on the gullibility of Boston’s public officials. There must be a rumor on the funding circuit that Boston is run by a bunch of suckers. Wonder how that got started?

  2. This is not exactly an area that needs a tourism boost. I think Charlestown or the Seaport would have made more sense. Better yet, why not the waterfront in East Boston? Most tourists never set foot there beyond their trip in and out of Logan. If this is as big of a draw as these developers seem to think, presumably people will make the short trip across the Harbor via the Blue Line or Water Taxi to check it out. The views would be even more impressive from over there too.

  3. So they want to boost tourism in the most tourist laden part of the city? Between Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, the Aquarium and the North End, I’ll venture a guess that no other part of the city has more tourists on a typical summer’s day.

    To say nothing of that fact that the area is already part of litigation between a faction of the residents and the City of Boston. This is the city thumbing their noses at the residents, in my opinion.

  4. This is another terrible idea for development along the Waterfront. The Ferris Wheel would not ACTIVATE this already tourist-heavy area around Long Wharf. The owners of Boston Freedom Wheel, LLC would make their $$ by CAPITALIZING on the crowds of tourists already in that area for the New England Aquarium, Whale Watch Cruises, Provincetown and Harbor Island ferries, MBTA ferries, water taxis, the Codzilla rides, the nearby Rose Kennedy Green Way, the Freedom Trail and the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel. A ride on any of these existing water vessels gives a spectacular view of the City that the ferris wheel could not deliver. This project adds NOTHING to our neighborhood. It would only block residents’ and tourists’ access to the water at Long Wharf. The owners of Boston Freedom Wheel, LLC would be the ONLY ones to benefit from this project!

  5. The message visitors should receive from their time here should be poignant stories of the shaping of an entirely new kind of country for themselves and families, known around the world as America. There is an obligation by city officials, and by tourist entrepreneurs to give its customers a quality visit, one based upon the history of the role the North End played in contemplating, and acting upon, a shocking idea – INDEPENDENCE, an America to be, To use the word ‘FREEDOM’ for a money-making spinning machine, cheapens the very foundational aspect of this very unique part of the city, and the country.

    • They plan to reroute the Freedom Trail and revise Longfellow’s poem to incorporate the Freedom Wheel in history. I think most tourists will buy it? After all they sold them on the Boston Tea Party being moored off the Congress St. bridge.

  6. This is just terrible! Move it to the Seaport which has already lost its soul. Yes to Gordon, Cathy and other commenters. How can we mobilize to get them to move this to another spot?

    • You are talking about apples and oranges. The carousel generates revenue for the upkeep of the Greenway and is very popular with locals and tourists alike and helps to activate the Greenway. the creatures on the ride were designed by local kids not some outside company looking to piggyback on the historic Freedom Trail by calling a commercial ferris wheel the “Freedom Wheel”

  7. The Whel is inappropriate for the area it is scheduled to e be erected in. The North End/ Waterfront area is one of the most historic and serene areas in the City f Boston. It is not gaudy; it is not Pseudo-Modern, and it is a placed we all choose to live in because it reflects Boston’s history and the integrity of our Italian heritage. Put it in the Seaport District that now reflects the style of New York or Chicago not Boston. The Greenway does not need the revenue from such an inappropriate source. If they are needing funds let them tax the neighborhood buildings that derive increased funds from their closeness to the Greenway.

  8. Represents Boston ? What a bunch of crap. Solid neighborhoods represents Boston, the thing that seems to be melting away and the city seems to be eating away at. What good is a waterfront if they keep building on it to the existent you won’t be able to see it.

  9. never-not now-not ever. Not in Charlestown. Not in the North End. Not at the Seaport. This is a terrible idea that the sposors want to sell to residents so that they, the sponsors, can get rich while the charm of Boston is destroyed. Think of the noise, the garrish lights, the crowds. We live in residential neighborhoods not Disney World. If the politicians support this, they should be punished on Election Day. That goes double for our Mayor who has always said he will protect our neiborhoods and our beautiful city from the grifters and speculators. So again, Never-Not Now-Not Ever!!

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