The Space Needle in Seattle is world famous for its design and features alike. Get well acquainted with this fabulous marvel with these interesting and fun facts.

Facts About Space Needle

The Space Needle in Seattle is a global image and represents the city of Seattle. Even in this age when Seattle reigns being the home of many software giants and a cyber city, the Space Needle does not lack any appeal. It has already recorded more than 40 million visits and the number is still growing. The building has seen multiple variations in its structure, but the beauty of the structure still remains the same; the world class monument which was meant to awe-inspire anyone who looked at it. Though not the tallest structure in Seattle anymore, the Space Needle is still a historical landmark. The monument was futuristic at the time of its inception in 1962, not only in its name, but also in terms of architecture. From the top of the Needle, one can see the Downtown Seattle skyline, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay and surrounding islands. Know the monument a little better by exploring some interesting and fun facts about the Seattle Space Needle.
Space Needle
Interesting & Fun Facts About Seattle Space Needle
  • The idea for the Space Needle came from Edward E. Carlson. He was the chairman of the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle and this idea stemmed from his visit to the Stuttgart Tower of Germany.
  • The final design of the tower is a culmination of many ideas from various people. While Carlson’s sketch of a giant balloon tethered to the ground made for the gently sloping base; main architect John Graham's concept of a flying saucer led to the halo that houses the restaurant and observation deck. And finally the hourglass profile of the tower is attributed to Seattle’s very own, Victor Steinbrueck.
  • The revolving restaurant was an idea of John Graham, who had previously designed a similar restaurant for the Ala Moana Shopping Center in Honolulu. It rotates 360 degrees in exactly forty-seven minutes.
  • The tower was privately built and financed by the "Pentagram Corporation", which consisted of Bagley Wright, contractor Howard S. Wright, architect John Graham, Ned Skinner, and Norton Clapp.
  • In 1977, Bagley, Skinner and Clapp sold their interest to Howard Wright, who, now, controls it under the name of Space Needle Corporation.
  • For stability, the foundation of the tower was designed to be 30 feet (10 m) deep and 120 feet (40 m) across, which required 467 concrete trucks to work a whole day to fill.
  • Along with 250 tone of reinforcing steel at the base, the whole 6000 ton foundation helps to keep the needle's centre of gravity to a mere 1.5 m above ground level.
  • Each of the 72 bolts used to secure the structure to the foundation is 10m long.
  • The 37mX37m plot worth $75000 was found and purchased only in 1961. The whole construction was completed in less than a year.
  • The revolving top part was perfectly balanced so that the restaurant could rotate with the help of only one tiny 1 hp electric motor, which was later replaced with a 1.5 hp motor.
  • On its completion just a day prior to beginning of World's fair on April 21 in 1962, the building became the tallest building in the west, at approximately 605 feet.
  • The 4.5 million $ epic monument saw close to 20000 visitors each day during the fair, but never touched the 20, 000 mark always falling short by fifty or sixty persons.
  • Though a part of the original design, the "skyline level" was added only in 1982. Today, the SkyLine Banquet Facility accommodates groups of 20-360 people.
  • Between 1999 and 2000, renovations worth 21 million $ included the SkyCity restaurant, SpaceBase retail store, Skybeam installation, Observation Deck overhaul, lighting additions and repainting.
  • The 45th millionth guest at the Space Needle was welcomed on May 19, 2007. San Francisco resident, Greg Novoa received a free trip for two to Paris, including a VIP dinner at the Eiffel Tower.
  • After the World’s Fair in 1962, the tower received its first professional cleaning only in 2008, when Kärcher pressure washed the whole monument with water at a pressure of 3,000 psi and a temperature of 194 degrees Fahrenheit, without the use of any detergent.
  • The Space Needle was featured in almost all episodes of the popular sitcom, Frasier.
  • SkyCity restaurant that features Pacific Northwest cuisine came about in 2000, when the two original restaurants on the hovering disk of the space needle; Eye of the Needle and Emerald Suite were combined after decades of service.
  • On 31 December 1999, close on the heels of the new millennium a powerful beam of light named the Legacy Light or Skybeam was unveiled at the tower. Powered by lamps that total 85 million candles power, the beam shines skyward from the top of the Space Needle, to honor national holidays and special occasions in Seattle.

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