Friday, October 28, 2022

Exploring the Seattle Space Needle - 2022/08/02

We're in Washington and visiting downtown Seattle! Of course we have to stop by the Seattle staple the Space Needle! We visited Pike Place market earlier in the day. It's only a 1 mile walk over to the Space Needle from there. Let's go!

There were plenty of automated ticket booths ready for us to purchase tickets. 

Ouch! $39 for adults and $29 for kids. It's a timed entry, and we were able to pick something that was about 15 minutes out. 

I wasn't sure if we'd be able to enter right away or if we'd have to wait around, but we got the thumbs up and moved through the security check and inside. 

There were plenty of people rushing right by all these displays to head to the elevators, but we took the time to read through them. The Space Needle was built for the 1962 World's Fair here in Seattle. 

Construction began April 17th 1961. 

The photo on the left shows over a dozen cement trucks pouring the foundation all at the same time. 

On June 2nd, 47 days after construction started, the permit was requested! 

Alli with a flip-book, showing the tower rising into the air. 

A nut that is used to hold down the base of the tower. 

The speed which they built this thing is incredible. Only 130 days after they started digging the foundation, it was near the halfway point. 
Theresa is pointing out one of the tight spaces a worker had to get into to tighten the bolts. 

At the top of the tower is a restaurant that rotates. It only needs a 1 horsepower motor to turn the entire 125 ton restaurant. 

And at the top was a 40 foot needle of flames!

Less than 365 days after construction started, the first visitors were welcomed to the top. 

And back in 1962, a ride up cost $1 per person. 

After seeing a bit of the history, we crossed a high walkway over to the elevators. Below us was a giant Lego model of the Space Needle. 

With lots of interesting visitors!

Later I'd go check out the bottom to see that it's made of 55000 bricks and stands 14 feet high!

Over to the elevators! 

It's a little cramped in here. 

And once we got to the top, the views were amazing!

In the past they only had waist-high barriers, but they've since replaced those with 10' glass walls. 

There's clear benches, and the glass walls are slanted, so you can really lean out and look down. 


Leaning over the side. 

A good view back towards downtown. 

One level lower is where the rotating restaurant would have been. They have glass floors with nothing else between you and the ground!

How strong is the floor? Let's find out!


Kids - What's that down there? Is that a playground? Can we go to it? 

I'm sure it's a constant struggle keeping the windows clean. 
We found the restrooms, hoping to have an experience like our trip to the Seoul Tower. There, all the toilets and urinals were right up against the glass windows. You could "go" with a view! The restrooms here were walled on all sides. 
In total we spent about 50 minutes at the top of the needle. 

The ride up the elevator and the ride back down. Both times we were lucky enough to be on the Red Elevator which takes the trip at half-speed and has the best view of downtown Seattle. I was recording it because I was hoping, like Ian, for a cool projection screen at the roof of the elevator, like the Seoul Tower had. 

After taking the elevator back to the ground, we looked over the souvenirs. There's even a plush space needle. 

A rock that's been cut away. 

Let's go outside. Alli is checking out one of those giant bolts that is holding the whole thing together. 

Right beside the space needle at the Seattle Center is the Artists at Play playground. They've got a lot of things to climb on!

After waiting in line behind the other kids, they climbed up the center, then made their way over to the slides. 

I lined up at the bottom to get a photo of them coming down the slide with the Space Needle in the background. Oh wait, that's a lamppost. 

There we go! They do look a bit similar to be fair. 

There's also a web of ropes to climb up to another entrance, but it's a little more risky. There's nothing to catch you if you slip. 

The slides here were really high and lots of fun! 

Merry-go-rounds are always fun. They kids were taking turns being captains, and when one of them had to leave they would designate a new captain. 

Ask the kids their favorite part of the day? 
The playground! 
Who cares about the giant tower we went up in!

1 comment:

  1. Perfect background for the final family photo...Space Needle right there in the center! What an experience in the Space Needle with those glass floors, glass walls, and clear seats (definitely a full-time job keeping the windows clean!)...beautiful clear day to look out and see the city from such a high vantage point. Those history boards leading up to the elevators is really interesting...the picture of all those trucks simultaneously pouring cement for the foundation is quite a sight...that Flip Book of the rising SN must have been a fun item to see. The SN Lego model was so impressive that even Santa Claus had to visit it :-) The Artists at Play playground was impressive with those rope ladders...good to see all the children playing well with each other, especially on the merry-go-round (so easy for just one "bully" to ruin the entire experience like during an earlier time) Had to smile that Ian's & Alli's favorite part of the day was the playground (it even caught their eyes from the SN!)...made me think of how the swimming pool at the hotel can be the favorite part of a vacation for many young kids, despite all the wondrous places they visit :-) EOM