Seattle Space Needle
1959, inspired by an observation tower in Stuttgart, on a napkin at a coffee house, artist Edward E. Carlson made the initial drawings of what would become the Seattle Space Needle. The top house first resembled a balloon, it would go through many transformations with the help of architect John Graham & associates before it reached it´s famous flying saucer look.
A bumpy road
The daring, futuristic, beautiful construction would meet a good amount of hurdles on its road to completion. Driven by private funds, finding an appropriate location proved to be so difficult that the project was just about to be terminated when suitable ground was finally found, only 13 months before its deadline for the 1962 World Fair.
467 cement trucks worked a full day to fill the hole dug for the foundation block, a 120 foot square that reaches 30 feet into the ground. It would weigh as much as the needle itself, placing the center of gravity close above ground.
Palette of the future
The theme of the 1962 World´s Fair was unmistakably about futurism and American optimism, and was appropriately named, The Century 21 Exposition. The Needle was specifically designed to embrace the Race into Space or now more commonly referred to as the Space Age. In keeping with the 21st Century theme, even the final coats of paint were dubbed Astronaut White for the supporting legs, Orbital Olive for the core, Re entry Red for the halo and Galaxy Gold for the sunburst and pagoda roof.
Built to withstand winds of up to 200 mph, the Seattle Space Needle clearly demonstrates the inherent strength of the unique tripod design. “SkyCity”, the rotating restaurant located 500 feet above the ground, cleverly rotates 360 degrees every 47 minutes using only a one horsepower motor, this is accomplished thanks to skillful and incredibly precise craftsmanship.