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Space Needle Fun Facts

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Space Needle Mysteries revealed The Structure Top of the Space Needle – Aircraft Warning Beacon: 605 feet Observation Deck: 520 feet Revolving SkyCity Restaurant: 500 feet SkyLine Banquet Facility: 100 feet Pavilion entrance and SpaceBase Retail Shop: ground level Bottom of foundation: 30 feet below ground The Space Needle was built on a 120′ x 120′ lot formerly owned by ... Read More »

The Story Starts on a Napkin

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Space Needle Story In 1959, an unlikely artist inspired by the Stuttgart Tower in Germany was sketching his vision of a dominant central structure for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair on a placemat in a coffee house. The artist was Edward E. Carlson, then president of Western International Hotels. His space-age image was to be the focus of the futuristic ... Read More »

12.29.11: There Wouldn’t be a Space Needle If….

Knute Berger

Space Needle History: Thursday at the Needle Knute Berger, Writer-in-Residence The story of the Space Needle is amazing in part because it was so unlikely that it actually was built. The Seattle World’s Fair was a high-risk proposition, so too was the conception, funding, and construction of the Needle, a project many people thought could never succeed. The series of unlikely ... Read More »

12.15.11: Handling the VIP Herd

Knute Berger

Space Needle History: Thursday at the Needle Knute Berger, Writer-in-Residence During the World’s Fair in 1962, the Needle was a magnet for celebrities and VIP’s. But what was a VIP? They included ambassadors, dignitaries, scientists, and corporate executives and their accompanying entourages. They included media, musicians and Hollywood stars, friends and family of the influential, and people connected to the fair ... Read More »

12.8.11: An Ironworker Remembers

Knute Berger

Space Needle History: Thursday at the Needle Knute Berger, Writer-in-Residence Jack Edwards was an ironworker who, at age 29, worked on the Space Needle. He was a “connector,” meaning his job was the dangerous and skilled worked of fitting the Needle’s heavy parts together. Imagine: you’re hundreds of feet in the air with no harness, not net, and you’re maneuvering huge steel ... Read More »

12.1.11: Elevator Stories

Knute Berger

Space Needle History: Thursday at the Needle Knute Berger, Writer-in-Residence Today, I had the chance to go up alone in one of the Space Needle’s elevators. It was closed to the public, but I was allowed to step on and push the button for the Observation Deck. I note this because it was really fun to zip up by myself. Somehow the ... Read More »

11.10.11: The Needle on Display

Knute Berger

Space Needle History: Thursday at the Needle Knute Berger, Writer-in-Residence Is the Space Needle art? The Needle has attracted the attention of artists, even before it was built. Northwest painters tried to capture it from the day the Needle’s legs began to rise from the fair site in 1961. But what about the Needle itself? Or Needle souvenirs? In the early 1970s, ... Read More »

11.3.11: Toasting the Needle

Knute Berger

Space Needle History: Thursday at the Needle Knute Berger, Writer-in-Residence I recently had a chance to sit and talk with George Schuchart and his wife Judy. The Schucharts were among the original Needle investors, being part of the Howard Wright family. One of the things they reminisced about were the gala functions surrounding the opening of the Space Needle. Judy Schuchart remembered ... Read More »

10.27.11: The Highest Bidder

Knute Berger

Space Needle History: Thursday at the Needle Knute Berger, Writer-in-Residence From time to time, History shows up at the Space Needle ticket booth. For instance, recently this Lifetime Elevator Pass to the Needle was used (and honored). It was issued to the James G. Murphy Family in 1974. The Needle doesn’t issue Lifetime Passes anymore, and this was the first. It is ... Read More »

10.20.11: A Space Needle is in the Details

Knute Berger

Space Needle History: Thursday at the Needle Knute Berger, Writer-in-Residence   With me today at the Needle was Gary N. Curtis, who as a young engineer worked for John K. Minasian, the chief consulting structural engineer on the Needle. Gary is a Northwest boy, raised in Portland, schooled in Walla Walla. When the call came from the John Graham Company for engineering ... Read More »

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