The Space Needle – Seattle’s treasured icon and the most popular tourist attraction in the Northwest USA – just celebrated its 56th birthday over the weekend. For those not in the know, the futuristic observation tower was built for the 1962 World’s Fair, which drew over 2.3 million visitors. Hugely popular, its elevators were used each day by almost 20,000 people.
Here are some other interesting factoids about the Space Needle:
- The tower is 650 feet tall and was the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River at the time it was built.
- The SkyCity Restaurant revolves at 500 feet, while the Observation Deck is at 520 feet.
- The first manager of the Space Needle (Hoge Sullivan) had acrophobia, a fear of heights.
- During its construction, it took 467 cement trucks less than 12 hours to fill the foundation hole (30 feet deep and 120 feet across). This was the largest continuous concrete pour ever attempted in the West.
- Although it sways approximately one inch for every 10 miles per hour of wind, the Space Needle was built to withstand a wind velocity of 200 miles per hour – and also a 9.1 magnitude earthquake. (By way of comparison, the Nisqually earthquake in 2001 had a 6.8 magnitude.)
- Plans to build a stork’s nest atop the Needle were scratched when it was learned storks couldn’t live in Seattle’s climate and would migrate to warmer climates.
- There are 848 steps from the bottom of the basement to the top of the Observation Deck.
Good news for those who want to climb the stairs all the way to the top! A charity event called the Base 2 Space Stair Climb is scheduled for September 30, 2018. If interested, you better not procrastinate because registration fees increase to $75 after July 31. While you don’t get to walk back down the stairs, you can donate another $25 for the privilege of going up again! As for me, I think I’ll stay on terra firma, which is where I was when I snapped the above shot of the Space Needle. The image looks great on metal, so please feel free to stop by The Gallery at Bergh Images and check it out. For gallery hours, please visit my Contact page.
Ciao for now!
Andrew (“Andy”) Bergh