Seattle Space Needle | Loews Hotels Blog
Seattle

Seattle’s Space Needle is one of those unique landmarks that people from all over the world can recognize. Its tall, sturdy stature and sleek design are hard to miss. Today we’re going to look at the needle’s origins and also explore its recent development and newest update.

The 1962 World’s Fair

It was Germany’s Stuttgart TV Tower that inspired Edward Carlson, the 1962 World’s Fair Chairman. He then partnered with local architect John Graham to make his revolving restaurant idea come to life. After they found and purchased the plot of land, the team had one year before the 1962 World Fair debut.

The 605 ft.-tower was built with a strong foundation: it’s able to withstand 200 mph winds and earthquakes up to 9 in magnitude. In order to do this, the construction team bolted the structure into the foundation with 72 bolts, each of them 30 feet long! There are also 25 rods to help it endure lightning strikes. The final construction included five levels, three elevators, and became the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.

Photo by @thepermanentvisitor

Present Day

For over 50 years, the Space Needle has built its reputation as a Seattle icon. It’s been featured in Hollywood films, multiple television series, and plenty of photographs. In 2007, the attraction racked up its 45 millionth visitor and it continues to bring in people from all over the world. Later in 2008, it received its first cleaning since the opening World’s Fair.

More recently, the Space Needle underwent a privately-funded renovation. This “Century Project” contributed a number of things:

  1. Increased energy efficiency
  2. Added elevator capacity
  3. Replaced the revolving motor
  4. Added floor to ceiling glass panels
  5. Added glass floors — making it the world’s first and only rotating glass floor

The newly reinvented restaurant is about to debut. But in the meantime, there are plenty of levels, activities, and sights inside the tower including a VR bungee jump. Also, surrounding the icon are plenty of attractions including the Museum of Pop Culture, the Seattle Children’s Museum, the Willard Smith Planetarium, the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, and the Butterfly Exhibit.

The Space Needle is located at 800 Broad Street, Seattle, WA 98109 and is open from 8 AM to midnight. It’s typically less crowded before 11 AM or after 7 PM. Daytime tickets are timed — so you’ll need to select a time slot that works best for your schedule. Taking the monorail only costs a couple of dollars and is a convenient way to visit the Space Needle. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit spaceneedle.com.

David