The Space Needle in Seattle is one of the most famous American landmarks, and is the most recognizable building in the State of Washington. Although it is not as tall as other legendary buildings, such as The Empire State Building in New York or Willis Tower in Chicago, the Space Needle sure does inspire awe. In was built in 1962 for the Seattle World’s Fair to symbolize the future and technology, and soon became an icon. The first thing you think about when you hear the word “Seattle” is probably the skyline of the city with the Space Needle in the center of it.
While the Space Needle is known all over the world, there are facts that many don’t know and will probably find quite interesting. Let’s take a look at them!
1. The Needle could be a balloon
The first designs of the building looked like a huge balloon tethered to the ground. It was John Graham, the architect, who introduced the idea of the flying saucer that would become the Space Needle as we see it now.
2. It used to be environmentally unfriendly
During the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the flame burned at the head of the tower to make it look even more spectacular. The natural gas torch was producing ‘the needle of flame’ around 40-50 feet tall. It was using so much fuel it would be enough to heat over a hundred homes. It turned on every 15 minutes serving as a colossal clock for the Fair. After the Fair they decided to use this energy in a better way.
3. It was dirty for 46 years
It was only in 2008 when the Needle was professionally cleaned. It was scrubbed with water with a temperature of 194F degrees and a pressure of 2900 pounds per square inch.
4. Parachutists love it
In 1996 the city authorities allowed the first parachute jump from the Space Needle. But it was long before that when a couple of adrenaline seekers went for an illegal jump in 1975.
5. It gets bigger
It is not a joke. The building actually expands about an inch in a hot weather.
6. Another city tried to buy it
The businessmen of Fife, another Washington city, wanted to buy the Space Needle from its owners, offering them a million dollars, which is not even a quarter of the cost of the project. No wonder, the Space Needle is still in Seattle.
7. Everyone once thought it had fallen
But it was just an April Fool’s Day joke by a local comedy show called Almost Live! They created false photos of the Needle in ruins, and many people in Seattle believed it was true. The NBC had to apologize for this prank and the confusion it had brought.
There are probably a lot more to tell about the Space Needle, but the main fact it is always good just to visit this spectacular building, just like many other interesting places in Seattle.
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