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The 605 foot (184 meter) Space Needle was designed by Edward E. Carlson for the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle. The futuristic structure has become a symbol for the city, and is home to festive events such as the annual New Year's Eve fireworks display.

The structure has gone through many transformations. Early plans called for a tethered balloon. Carlson's plan called for a soaring needle topped by a disk reminiscent of a flying saucer. The structure required a 120-foot-square underground foundation. 467 cement trucks spent an entire day filling the hole. The completed foundation weighs as much as the Needle.

Massive steel beams form the slender legs and upper body. The structure 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 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 is in the midst of a $20 million revitalization effort. 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.

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Additional Photos by Ignacio Miranda (Nacho) Silver Note Writer [C: 0 W: 0 N: 47] (204)
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