Views from the Top of the Seattle Space Needle: A City Icon • Albom  Adventures


Googie.’ It isn’t a misprint, it is an architectural model.

You may not know the identify, however you may most likely acknowledge it. A subset of Mid-century trendy structure, you’ve got seen it in such motion pictures as The Incredibles and TV exhibits like The Jetsons. Googie is rocket-inspired geometric designs that includes atoms, UFOs, boomerangs and something with an intrinsic sense of movement. Maybe probably the most recognizable instance is the unofficial image of the town of Seattle: The Space Needle.

Constructed for the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962, the 605-foot (184-meter) tower was constructed to face up to earthquakes higher than and category-5 hurricane winds. It has been visited by over 63 million individuals, together with me. 

Seattle stunner

For some purpose, I made a decision to stroll. I’d simply arrived through ferry after photographing the usTurner Pleasure on the opposite facet of Puget Sound. It did not appear that far on Google Maps, however in fact, Google Maps does not (but) let you know that there are hills. 

Once I lastly arrived on the tower its measurement dominated the views. Briefly the tallest constructing west of the Mississippi, it’s far shorter than extra trendy towers, just like the Tokyo Skytree.

That design, although. Like many once-modern designs, Googie grew to become dated earlier than it grew to become retro, so valuable few of those buildings nonetheless exist. Los Angeles nonetheless has a bunch, an important part of the town’s comparatively brief architectural historical past. The New York’s World’s Truthful from two years later had most of its buildings eliminated, and a few nonetheless exist. Of these nonetheless in Queens a number of are rotting away. The Tomorrowlands on the American Disney parks nonetheless have some Googie-inspired buildings, however the newer parks typically do not. 

Right here in Seattle, the Needle is in a kind of Googie oasis. The towering glass-and-steel skyscrapers are farther south, at a good distance, permitting the Area Needle to nonetheless have unimaginable views and never appear tiny in comparison with trendy engineering. 

I purchase my ticket and head up. Clouds on the horizon imply we’ll miss the second of sundown, however the view is unbelievable regardless. There’s not a lot to discover on the remark deck, it isn’t that massive. The unique thought was for a floating restaurant, and when it comes to measurement that is mainly what this seems like, a giant restaurant. Exterior there are excessive glass partitions, with tilted glass benches that allow you to lean again in case your vertigo permits.


Should you head down the wood- and glass-lined ‘Oculus’ staircase, you get to the decrease stage. Right here, along with the restaurant, is a closely bolstered glass flooring that can even rotate. I depart because the tower closes for the evening.

The subsequent day I head again, taking the monorail that was additionally constructed for the World’s Truthful. It, too, is an anachronism of one other age. The automobiles are unique, however are in good condition. The daytime view is probably not fairly as epic because the evening, however nonetheless spectacular.

Views from the Top of the Seattle Space Needle: A City Icon • Albom  Adventures

I test my map, and extrapolate from a couple of Instagram pictures, the place on the close by hill I might have to move to get view of the Needle and the town behind. Kerry Park appears best, and closest to a bus line. No means I am strolling up there. The view does not disappoint. I return a couple of hours later, after dinner with a highschool good friend I have never seen in 20 years. This journey was a fairly good thought. The Area Needle lit at evening is just attractive.


As one of the crucial visited points of interest on the West Coast, you do not want me to let you know it is a fantastic spot. You should buy your tickets forward of time, which is a little bit of a big gamble. Seattle is infamous for its cloud cowl and common drizzle, however however in the summertime I can think about the very best occasions promote out. I am going to depart that call as much as you. Should you can, arrive about an hour earlier than sundown, then keep to see the lights of the town at evening.

The Space Needle‘s peak might now not be spectacular, however the entire level of a tower like that is for view, and you’ll nonetheless get that, to not point out the good view it on the bottom.



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