The Seattle Space Needle: Opened In 1962, A National Landmark

By | April 19, 2020

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Left: Poster for the 1962 World's Fair. Right: A view of the Space Needle from the World's Fair's Plaza of the States, 1962. Sources:; Wikimedia Commons

The Seattle Space Needle, built for the 1962 World's Fair, is a structure that symbolizes its city like few others -- it does what the Eiffel Tower does for Paris, or the Gateway to the West arch for St. Louis. The Needle's soaring curves and Saturn-style halo remind us of the era's fascination with space travel. You've seen it in a musical (It Happened At The World's Fair, starring Elvis Presley, 1963), a thriller (The Parallax View, starring Warren Beatty, 1974), and a chick-flick (Sleepless In Seattle, 1993), as well as in the logos for the TV show Frazier and the Seattle SuperSonics. Read on for history, trivia and facts about the Space Needle.

The Seattle Space Needle: The Basic Facts

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Source: (Wikimedia Commons)

The Space Needle opened on April 21, 1962. It was originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Century 21 Exposition where the theme year was “The Age of Space.” The idea was a structure to symbolize mankind’s Space Age aspirations. The tower is 605 feet tall and has a 520 foot saucer shaped top house. From within the top house, visitors have a 360 degree view of Seattle, the Olympics, Mount Rainier, the Cascades and Puget Sound.