The Space Needle in Seattle, Washington, USA

The Space Needle is an observation tower in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is a landmark of the Pacific Northwest and an icon of Seattle. It was built in the Seattle Center for the 1962 World’s Fair, which drew over 2.3 million visitors. Nearly 20,000 people a day used its elevators during the event. It is 605 ft (184 m) high, 138 ft (42 m) wide, and weighs 9,550 short tons (8,660 tonnes). It is built to withstand winds of up to 200 mph (320 km/h) and earthquakes of up to 9.0 magnitude,[ as strong as the 1700 Cascadia earthquake. It also has 25 lightning rods.

Visitors can reach the top of the Space Needle by elevators that travel at 10 mph (16 km/h). The trip takes 41 seconds. On windy days, the elevators slow to 5 mph (8.0 km/h). On April 19, 1999, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Board designated it a historic landmark.

Edward F. Carlson, chairman of the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, had an idea for erecting a tower with a restaurant at the World’s Fair. Carlson was president of a hotel company and was not recognized in art or design, but he was inspired by a recent visit to the Stuttgart Tower of Germany. Local architect John Graham soon became involved as a result of his success in designing Northgate Mall. Graham’s first move was to alter the restaurant’s original design to a revolving restaurant, similar to his previous design of the La Ronde tower restaurant at the Ala Moana Shopping Center in Hawaii.

Space Needle
Wikimedia | © OpenStreetMap
Record height
Tallest in Seattle and Washington state from 1962 to 1969[
Preceded bySmith Tower
Surpassed bySafeco Plaza
General information
StatusComplete
TypeObservation tower
Location400 Broad Street
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
98109
Coordinates47.6204°N 122.3491°WCoordinates47.6204°N 122.3491°W
Construction startedApril 17, 1961
CompletedDecember 8, 1961
OpeningApril 21, 1962
OwnerSpace Needle Corporation
Height
Antenna spire184 m (604 ft)
Top floor158 m (518 ft)
Technical details
Floor count6
Lifts/elevators3
Design and construction
ArchitectJohn Graham & Company
Structural engineerJohn K. Minasian
Victor Steinbrueck
Main contractorHoward S. Wright Construction Co

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