The Space Needle

Jun 20, 2008, 10:30 AM | Updated: Mar 27, 2011, 10:24 am

The Space Needle was built in 1962 as a symbol of the World’s Fair. Not only does it serve as a reference point for Seattleites, it truly is known throughout the world as the symbol of Seattle.

The Space Needle stretches 605 feet into the air, with a restaurant on top that revolves to give the diner a 360 degree view of downtown Seattle. If you want the view without the food you can take a walk around the outdoor observation deck.

Depending upon what time of year you go you may see a different theme at the Needle. The Space Needle is often dressed up for seasons or events; a Christmas tree in December, Seahawks flag in the fall and fireworks are launched off the top on July 4th and New Years Eve.

The Space Needle is built to withstand powerful earthquakes and take on wind speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. The elevators travel at 10 mph, as fast as a raindrop falls from the sky.


In 1959, Edward E. Carlson sketched the Space Needle’s design on a placement while sitting in a coffee shop. Modeled after the Stuttgart Tower in Germany, the sketch soon took shape and began to epitomize the World Fair’s Century 21 theme. Architect John Graham just finished the world’s first shopping mall, Northgate. He and his team joined with Carlson and reached a final design, combining Carlson’s vision of a tethered balloon and Graham’s dream of a flying saucer. After scrambling to find land (now on the southern edge of Seattle Center) and pouring a massive cement foundation, the Space Needle was completed December 1961, just four months before the World’s Fair.


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The Space Needle