Famous Ferris wheel finds new home in Oklahoma City, goes vertical after 8 years on the ground

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Everything is starting to go round in the Wheeler District.

"You can see we already got the legs in place this morning, and the wheel will continue to go up throughout the afternoon. In the weeks to come, we'll add the gondolas, put the equipment in place and we'll have the Ferris wheel lighting up the night sky on the south bank of the Oklahoma River,” said Blair Humphreys, Director of Design of Wheeler District.

The new Ferris wheel in Oklahoma City once stood at the Santa Monica Pier.

Now, it's going vertical just south of the Oklahoma River.

"It already had a great history. It's been in many movies, including Iron Man. There's a famous scene with a boy in a gondola, and he drops his ice cream when he sees Iron Man cruising the night sky,” Humphreys said.

Unbeknownst to Humphreys, his brother, Grant, bought the Ferris wheel in an eBay auction in 2008 for $134,000.

Since then, it's been in Kansas getting a $1 million makeover, all paid for with private money.

"Changed out the lights from incandescent to LEDs. We have really a brand new Ferris wheel when all is said and done," Humphreys said.

The lights can be changed to reflect any big event going on in the city.

It's all part of a bigger residential and retail community breaking ground later this year.

"This will be a project that takes time, and we expect to be here the next 10 to 15 years actively developing," Humphreys said.

The Ferris wheel is expected to be open this summer.

Folks with the Wheeler District said it will cost around $6 per ride.

They anticipate the residential space to be open next year.


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