Architect: John Graham & Company
Height: 184 meters / 605 feet
About the Seattle Space NeedleThe 605 foot (184 meter) Space Needle was envisioned by Edward E. Carlson, who was president of Western International Hotels. Carlson's sketch became an icon for the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle, and after many adaptations, architect John Graham and his team of architects transformed the balloon-topped tower that Carlson sketched into the saucer-topped tower we see today.
Massive steel beams form the slender legs and upper body of the Seattle Space Needle. The Space Needle is designed to withstand a wind velocity of 200 miles per hour, but storms occasionally force the facility to close. Several earth tremors have caused the Needle to sway. However, the original designers doubled the 1962 building code requirements, enabling the Space Needle to withstand even greater jolts.
The Space Needle was completed in December 1961, and officially opened four months later on the first day of the World's Fair, April 21, 1962. The Space Needle has been extensively renovated. Nearly every aspect of the 1962 World's Fair centerpiece has been or is being updated, including the entry level, restaurant, and Observation Deck, all the way down to the grounds surrounding the attraction.
The Space Needle's Legacy Light was first illuminated on New Year's Eve 1999/2000, and has been shown on major national holidays. A beam of light that shines skyward from the top of the Space Needle, the Legacy Light honors national holidays and commemorates special occasions in Seattle. The Legacy Light is based on the original concept of a beam of light shining atop the Space Needle, as depicted in the official 1962 World's Fair poster.
Visitor's Guide to the Seattle Space Needle at About.com >>
Gift Idea: LEGO Seattle Space Needle Construction Model (compare prices)