The Space Needle, located at 400 Broad Street, Seattle, WA, is an immediate draw for tourists all over the world, and is similar to the Statue of Liberty in New York, and the Sears Tower in Chicago. The Needle is a landmark that sets Seattle apart from other cities.
Back in 1959, Edward E. Carlson, an artist, and then the president of a chain of hotels, hand-sketched a spaced-age futuristic image, that would be the center point of an exhibit known as, “21 Century” of the World’s Fair. The Stuttgart Tower, in Germany was Carlson’s inspiration behind his initial drawing.
The initial sketch had to go through several transformations, before it went from a simple drawing, to the massive structure we know today, the Space Needle. It was built to withstand wind speeds up to 200 miles per hour, which is double the required amount according to the 1962 building code. During a 2001 earthquake, which registered 6.8 on the Richter scale, the Space Needle was affected to the point, where water sloshed out of the toilet bowls.
The Space Needle, which stands 605 feet tall, was completed in December of 1961, and officially opened it’s doors a few short months later, on April 21, 1962 (the first day of the famous World’s Fair). Greg Novoa was the 45 millionth visitor, to enter the Space Needle, on May 19, 2007, and he won a free trip to Paris.
Inside you will find a gift shop, observation deck, and a revolving restaurant, known as the “Sky City”, that will seat 200 people. Every hour, the restaurant will make a complete rotation. Prior to the “Sky City”, there were two previous restaurants, known as the “Eye of the Needle” and the “Emerald Suite”.
The speed of the elevators in the Space Needle descends at 10 miles per hour (taking an entire 41 seconds to complete), in comparison, a snowflake descends at three miles per hour. This is a fun fact to know, because on the rare occasion that it snows in Seattle, Space Needle elevator riders will experience the sensation, that snow is rising from the below, instead of falling from above. If you are more inclined to work, there are 848 steps from the basement of the building to the observation deck.
From the observation deck, which is 520 feet above ground level, you will able to have a spectacular view of the entire downtown Seattle skyline, in addition to the Cascade and Olympic Mountains, and so much more. The Swarovski Telescopes will allow you to take a closer look at all the majesty that the beautiful panoramic skyline has to offer, as well as the ability to spot a friend buying a hot dog at Safeco Field (which is a few miles away). The great thing about the observation deck is that colorful graphics have been displayed, so that visitors can easily reference what they are looking at.
This is a famous, popular, fun and informative attraction that is not to be missed, whenever you find yourself in the Seattle, WA area.