Seattle Space Needle
Walk to the Space Needle and witness a marvel from the Seattle World's Fair
Built for the 1962 World's Fair, the Seattle Space Needle is a Seattle icon. Visible from most of the city, and only a 15 minute walk from The Edgewater Hotel, the Space Needle is an American monument.
Seattle Space Needle
The Seattle Space Needle originally constructed as an attraction for the 1962 World's Fair, is an iconic landmark of Seattle as well as the Pacific Northwest. The Space Needle is located within the Seattle Center, in the Queen Anne area of Seattle. It is also close to some other very interesting attractions, including as the Experience Music Project Museum, Chihuly Garden and Glass, the PACCAR IMAX Theater, Seattle Children's Museum, Pacific Science Center, Key Arena, International Fountain and Memorial Stadium. Additionally, the Monorail, another iconic Seattle World's Fair remnant, reaches its western terminus just across the plaza from the base of the Space Needle.
How It Was Built
Originally an idea sketched on a paper napkin, the Space Needle was perfected through a collaboration between Edward E. Carlson and John Graham, Jr. Refined by Victor Steinbrueck, who streamlined the Space Needle's profile with an hourglass shaped profile, had the idea to merge the concept of an enormous balloon tethered to the ground and flying saucer. Constructed to withstand wind speeds of 200 mph, the Seattle Space Needle exceeded by more than two times the requirement of building codes in 1962. Additionally, the Space Needle was constructed in such a manner that it would not sustain any significant damage in a category 9 earthquake.
Among the biggest hurdles the Space Needle had to overcome, in order to be built, were the strict requirements by the city regarding the land on which it would be built. It was decided that the land had to be located within the World's Fair grounds and had to be privately purchased and financed, so that no tax dollars would be used towards the project. The plot of land eventually obtained was only 120 feet by 120 feet. The land purchase occurred only one year before the planned opening of the World's Fair, with construction on the Space Needle beginning on April 17, 1961. To ensure that the Seattle Space Needle would be open in time for the Seattle World's Fair, crews worked around the clock until its completion later the same year it was begun, on December 8, 1961.
The Space Needle has an observation deck, a ground level gift shop, a restaurant, 3 elevators and a spire that reaches a height of 605 feet at its highest point. SkyCity, the rotating restaurant located within the “spaceship” portion of the Space Needle, allows visitors to dine at an elevation of 500 feet. Completing a full rotation every forty-seven minutes, the restaurant offers fantastic views of the Seattle skyline, Puget Sound, and the surrounding mountain ranges. For a period after the Space Needle was built, it held the title of tallest man-made structure west of the Mississippi River, displacing another Seattle landmark, the Smith Tower located near Pioneer Square.