The Space Needle

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by moatway on June 12, 2007

The Space Needle was meant to be the focal point of the 1962 International Exhibition. Inspired by the radio tower in Stuttgart, Germany, visionary Eddy Carlson decided that the Seattle tower should feature a restaurant in the sky, but there would even be difficulties securing land on the Exhibition site. Finally, as time flew by, site permission was granted and the fair would have its restaurant and an observation deck. The process sounds simple now, but the architecture and the construction methods were untried and this would be the tallest structure west of the Mississippi. Once completed, however, it became one of the exhibition’s main attraction as well as its trademark; 2.3 million people would ascend the tower that year…20,000 per day.

The tower is 650 feet with an observation deck at 520 feet. The nautilus pavilion at its feet was in the original design but wouldn’t be finished until 2000. For an admission fee (2007 - $15), an glass-walled elevator will whisk you to the top at 10 mph. Once there, you can opt to stay inside or go to the outer deck. There are any number of aids, both static and dynamic, to help you identify, or zoom in on, the sites before you. You can be forgiven if you feel there is a slight sway, but remember, at age 45, this tower has withstood a fairly severe earthquake.

It is what it is: a spot high in the sky from which you have a view of downtown Seattle, Lake Union, and north to the Olympic Mountains. Try to see it on a clear day. Fastest way to the Seattle Centre is still on the monorail from the Westlake Shopping Center, corner of Pine and 5th.

Space Needle
400 Broad Street (seattle Center)
Seattle, Washington, 98109
(206) 905-2111

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