Philly Eye for the waterfront?

OK, so the statue of Michael Jackson, seen here being pulled up the River Thames in London in a 1995 photo, didn't prove to be a big tourist draw. But the London Eye Ferris wheel is a winner and could inspire a Philly attraction, says Philly Mag. (AP Photo)

Among the neatest of 20 ideas to make Philly what Philadelphia Magazine calls “the best damn city in America” is a proposal to build a London Eye-style Ferris wheel on the Delaware River waterfront.

With the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, London attracts several million visitors each year. Philadelphia could sure use a boost like that.

The magazine pictures a grand wheel at Penn’s Landing, both as a visitor attraction and a new iconic symbol for the city:

"There it would spin, attracting tourists (the Eye draws almost four million a year), romantic Philadelphians, SugarHouse gamblers coming up for air, and perhaps those who just happen to be strolling the now-proposed Race Street Pier park — all the while serving as a towering visual reminder to the rest of the teeming city that there, just over that highway, we’ve got something cool."

It’s certainly the right time to dream about doing something better with the waterfront, inasmuch as the city’s draft master plan for the area just hit the streets. That plan is a bit heavy on non-entertainment reuses for the area, but there’s no reason a Philly Eye might not find a home

Say this much, a Ferris wheel would be far more of sure thing that the long-dead idea to string up wires and run a tram over to Camden.