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FUN FACTS


  • The barrier glass for the Observation Deck exterior is approximately 2.5″ thick, 7′ wide and 11′ high, weighing 2300 lbs.. With rigging systems for the hoist up to 500-feet, each taps out at close to 2,600 lbs.

  • Unlike typical scaffolding, which takes 4-6 weeks to assemble, this project will utilize an elevated platform with scaffold system that only takes a couple of weeks to put into place.

  • Most of the construction work will take place on an elevated “power swing stage” and scaffold system.

  • It will take about a week to construct the scaffold, which will take place on the top of the 100-foot level of the Space Needle. Then, it’s estimated to take about 4 hours to raise the scaffold to the 500-foot level, where it will completely wrap the restaurant and sit just under the halo and Observation Deck.

  • This will be the first time the Space Needle has ever used such an elevated platform for work.

  • The elevated platform and scaffold system will create a weather-proof space for work to take place.

  • It will be raised into place by 12 people operating 12 cables and hoists. Many of the people facilitating the rigging are also skilled outdoor climbers.

  • Since opening, the Space Needle has played host to nearly 60 million visitors, which – as you can imagine – brings significant wear and tear.

  • In addition to a laser scan for the structure schematics, the Century Project design team consulted the original, hand-drawn blueprints, and staff from John Graham and Company, circa 1961-62.

  • There are 10 glass types used in the Century Project.

  • The walkable glass on the restaurant level is the first rotating glass floor to be installed in a building that is open to visitors. The glass floor is designed to safely support large crowds as well as fixtures like a grand piano.

  • The Observation Deck insulating glass leverages coating technologies which provide superior energy performance over the existing glass and museum grade anti-reflective coatings.

  • The soffit glazing under the restaurant level is designed to simulate the original metal cladding on the underside of the Space Needle while allowing for the clearest view from the restaurant downward. Its appearance is achieved with a custom ceramic product on the outside surface to match the color of the historic metal cladding from 1961.

  • Glass for this project will be coming from Switzerland, Germany, and California.

  • The glass features of the Space Needle will be unique to Seattle. Seattle City Hall has a walkable glass bridge, however, it is colored and frosted.

  • In total, the glass for Century Project weighs in at more than 352,000 pounds, or 176 tons. That’s more than twice the weight of a NASA space shuttle!

  • The rotating glass floor for the restaurant weighs approximately 74,600 pounds, or 37 tons and covers over 2,600 square feet.

  • The glass safety barrier at the Observation Deck is approximately 109,000 pounds, or 55 tons.

  • Total glass square footage is approximately 17,000 square feet, adding more than 25% more views. Or, a little more than 1/3 of a football field (Go Hawks!).

  • The turntable for the restaurant level will be driven by 12 motors.

  • The “tophouse” of the Space Needle will be completely upgraded with new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. Much of the equipment and thousands of feet of cable, conduit and ductwork had to be painstakingly relocated to accommodate the new views. This amounts to a full remodel of the existing tophouse.

  • The kitchen that supports the restaurant deck has been completely redesigned with a modern approach to restaurant management. With limited space, each piece of equipment is critical and must be in a location for the high-volume restaurant operation to function. Months of planning and diagramming have gone into the kitchen redesign.

  • Special cleaning systems are being invented to help us keep the thousands of linear feet of glass crystal clear for the view. Cleaning glass at 500-feet in the air is a specialty of our facilities team and the new views will require new technology.

  • The ADA Lift (“Sesame Lift”) for accessing the outer deck will the first of its kind in North America.

  • The davit crane will sit behind a glass box on the observation deck so guests can get a glimpse into how materials will be introduced to the job site. The crane will be available for viewing at all times.