By Ben Walker

Space Needle

Equipment Info
Canon Canon PowerShot S2 IS
Brief Directions

The Space Needle is in the heart of the city. Just head towards it!


* 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 the city of Seattle, which was sold to investors for $75,000 in 1961, just one year before the opening of the World's Fair. * There are 848 steps from the bottom of the basement to the top of the Observation Deck. * During the construction of the Space Needle, it took 467 cement trucks less than 12 hours to fill the foundation hole (30 feet deep and 120 feet across); this was the largest continuous concrete pour ever attempted in the West. * When the Space Needle was built in 1962 it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. * The foundation weighs 5,850 tons and there are 250 tons of reinforcing steel alone (i.e., rebar) in the foundation. The Needle structure weighs 3,700 tons. * The center of gravity for the Space Needle is 5 feet above the ground. * The Space Needle is fastened to its foundation with 72 bolts, each 30 feet in length. * The Space Needle sways approximately 1 inch for every 10 mph of wind. It was built to withstand a wind velocity of 200 miles per hour, doubling the 1962 building code requirements. When winds around the Needle reach high speeds, 35 mph or higher, the elevators are designed to reduce their traveling speed to 5 mph for safety reasons. During the 1993 Inaugural Day storm, wind gusts reached 90 mph and the top house was closed for an hour and a half. * On a hot day the Space Needle expands about one inch. * There are 25 lightning rods (24 actual rods plus the tower) on the roof of the Needle to withstand lightning strikes. Diameter of the halo is 138 feet. * Diameter of the SkyCity Restaurant is 94.5 feet. * The Space Needle had the second revolving restaurant in the world. The first one was in the Ala Moana shopping mall in Hawaii (now closed). There are now hundreds of turntables throughout the world. * The entire Space Needle saucer does not rotate, only a 14-foot ring next to the windows rotates on the SkyCity restaurant level. * The restaurant turntable revolves on a track and wheel system that weighs roughly 125 tons, borrowed from railroad technology. All it takes to make the turntable revolve is a 1½ horsepower motor (originally it was a 1 hp motor). The 100 foot, or SkyLine, level was built in 1982. * The original name of the Space Needle was "The Space Cage." The original name of the restaurant was "Eye of the Needle." * From the time of its construction, the Space Needle has always had a light atop the structure. The most recent version is the Legacy Light, first illuminated on New Year's Eve 1999/2000. * The Space Needle was built in 1962 for a mere $4.5 million dollars. In 2000, the Space Needle completed a $20 million revitalization. The project included construction of the Pavilion Level, SpaceBase retail store, SkyCity restaurant, Deck overhaul, exterior lighting additions, installation of the Legacy Light, exterior painting and more. * On April 21, 1999, the Space Needle's 37th birthday, the City's Landmarks Preservation Board named it an official City of Seattle Landmark. In its Report on Designation, the Landmarks Preservation Board wrote, "The Space Needle marks a point in history of the City of Seattle and represents American aspirations towards technological prowess. [It] embodies in its form and construction the era's belief in commerce, technology and progress."

Date Added
April 17, 2009
Date Taken
April 17, 2009

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