Space Needle Facts

The Space Needle is a tower in Seattle, Washington, that was built for the 1962 World’s Fair. It is 605 feet (184 m) high and 138 feet (42 m) wide.

The Space Needle has a deck at 520 feet (160 m) high and a rotating SkyCity restaurant at 500 feet (150 m).

Visitors can ride elevators to the top of the Space Needle in 41 seconds. On windy days, the elevators travel at 5 miles per hour.

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Space Needle Facts for Kids

  • The Space Needle is 605 feet (184 m) high
  • It took 400 days to build.
  • Every year, 1.3 million people visit the Space Needle
  • It was designed by John Graham as a compromise between various design ideas.
  • From the basement to the observation deck, there are 848 stairs.
  • It’s the tallest building in Seattle
  • There are 25 lightning rods on the needle’s roof

What is the Space Needle used for?

Seattle’s Space Needle is an observation tower built for the 1962 World’s Fair. Listed as an official Seattle landmark in 1999, the tower is a major tourist attraction.

Why do they call it the Space Needle?

Edward E. Carlson, who was a chief organizer of the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, was inspired by a broadcast tower featuring a restaurant in Stuttgart, Germany. 

On a napkin in a hotel café, he drew a tower that he thought would be a permanent centerpiece for the fair. 

He called it a “Space Needle.”

Does the Space Needle do anything?

It offers three main viewing platforms with 360-degree views. At 520 feet, there is an indoor observation deck and an open-air viewing area. At 500 feet above the ground, there is an observation level with a rotating glass floor.

The Loupe

A revolving glass floor was installed at The Space Needle in 2018. View the Space Needle’s unique architecture, elevators, and the city below from The Loupe.

How much did it Cost to Build?

The 1962 Space Needle cost $4.5 million. The Century Project renovation in 2018 cost closer to $100 million.

Beam of Light

A powerful beam of light was unveiled on December 31, 1999, at the top of the Space Needle to honor national holidays and special occasions in Seattle. It is somewhat controversial because of the light pollution it creates.