Seattle Space Needle
Seattle Space Needle
The Seattle Space Needle was originally constructed as an attraction for the 1962 World’s Fair. 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 creation, stops 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 by Edward E. Carlson and John Graham, Jr. It was then refined by Victor Steinbrueck, who streamlined the Space Needle’s profile with an hourglass shaped profile; the idea was to merge the concept of an enormous balloon tethered to the ground with that of a flying saucer. The Seattle Space Needle was constructed to withstand wind speeds up to 200 mph and to survive a magnitude 9 earthquake without significant damage.
Among the biggest hurdles the Space Needle had to overcome were the strict requirements regarding the land on which it would be built. Seattle wanted the land to be located within the World’s Fair and had to be privately purchased and financed, so that no tax dollars would be used. 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 Space Needle would be open in time for the Seattle World’s Fair, crews worked around the clock until its completion on December 8, 1961.
Observation Deck and SkyCity
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.