Created to usher the city into the future, The Seattle Space Needle was commissioned as part of the 1962 World Fair hosted in Seattle. The theme of the fair was “Century 21”, thus inspiring the futuristic design of the Needle. Rising 605 feet from the ground and 520 feet above sea level, the structure is a fusion of Edward E. Carlson and John Graham, Jr.’s designs. Carlson envisioned a needle with a top that looked like a balloon, Graham tweaked it for practical reasons and followed the shape of a UFO instead. The Space Needle boasts of an observation deck, a restaurant, a private banquet facility and a gift shop.
The foundation hole for the Space Needle goes as far as 30 feet underground to keep it stable on its 120’ x 120’ lot. It took 467 cement trucks and about 12 hours to fill the foundation, during it’s time, it was the largest continuous concrete pouring ever attempted in the West Coast. The structure is supported by massive steel beams and designed to withstand wind speeds at 200 miles per hour. The Space Needle has had its share of jolts and tremors, just enough to sway the Needle, it was meant to withstand stronger forces.
The Observation Deck is 520 feet up and enjoys a 360° unobstructed view of the entire Emerald City. Visitors can admire the Elliot Bay waterfront, the Douglas fir covered mountain ranges, the elegant peak of Mount Rainier and the amazing city lights all from one spot. The easiest way to get tickets is through online purchase, where the date and time of visits can be reserved. Tickets are also sold on-site through the admissions windows and several self-service kiosks however the slots are not always guaranteed. Visitors dining at the SkyCity restaurant get to enjoy the elevator ride and Observation Deck for free.
The Space Needle also features the SkyCity Restaurant, revolving at 500 feet above the ground. The restaurant was originally known as the “Eye of the Needle”, it has a 14-foot deep revolving dining floor, much like a carousel, but instead of horses it carries a beautiful dining area. The floor can hold up to 125 tons and completes one revolution in 47 minutes. There’s no need to worry about getting a good spot, each table offers an unobstructed view of the entire city. The SkyCity offers brunch, lunch and dinner featuring Pacific Northwest favorites, mostly local produce, chicken, steaks and of course, seafood!
At 100 feet, private parties can enjoy intimate gatherings at the The SkyLine Level, the Space Needle’s private event and banquet hall. The facility is open for all kinds of celebrations and private events, offering fabulous food, exceptional service and an unbeatable view. The banquet facilities can hold about 300 to 350 guests and can be divided into separate rooms for smaller gatherings, one facing the Puget Sound, one facing Downtown Seattle and the other facing Lake Union.
The Seattle Space Needle is truly something to behold and a must see whether you are a local or visiting the Emerald City for the first time!