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Space Needle Facts

  • The Space Needle officially opened to the public on April 21, 1962 for the Century 21 Exposition, a space age-themed world’s fair.
  • Edward E. Carlson, the chief organizer of the World’s Fair, sketched the Space Needle’s original flying saucer concept on a napkin. The unique design quickly made the tower one of the most recognizable structures in the world, and the proud symbol of Seattle.
  • It took approximately 400 days to build the Space Needle.
  • The Space Needle’s graceful, wasp-waisted tower shape was inspired by an abstract sculpture by artist David Lemon titled, “the Feminine One.”
  • Approximately 1.3 million guests visit the Space Needle per year, and nearly 60 million visitors have visited the tower since it opened in 1962.
  • It cost $4.5 million to build the Space Needle in 1962. In 2018, the Century Project renovation cost closer to $100 million.
  • The Space Needle is privately owned by the Wright family and sits on a 120-foot by 120-foot private parcel of land on the Seattle Center campus. The Space Needle is the only private property on the Seattle Center’s 74-acre campus.
  • The Space Needle stands at 605 feet tall.
  • The Space Needle offers 360-degree views from its three main viewing areas – an indoor observation deck and open-air viewing area located at 520 feet, and an observation level featuring a revolving glass floor located 500 feet above ground.
  • The Space Needle installed The Loupe, the world’s first revolving glass floor, in 2018. The Loupe offers never-seen-before views of the Space Needle’s unique architecture, elevators, and the city below.
  • The Space Needle was designated as an official landmark in 1999.
  • It takes 43 seconds to travel in a Space Needle elevator from the ground to the tower’s top level, 520 feet above Seattle.