The 605-foot Space Needle is the most iconic structure in Seattle. Built in 1962, and reportedly purchased by investors for $75,000, the landmark has an observation deck and revolving restaurant at 500 feet, where hundreds of daily visitors hunker down for 360-degree views of Seattle. Now, 56 years later, the Space Needle is unveiling a massive renovation, with many of the new spaces now open to visitors..
For upgrades and maintenance, $100 million dollars was spent refurbishing The Space Needle over the past year. Locals are calling the renovation the "spacelift."
The most talked about enhancements are the views — more of them, to be exact.
In the observation deck, hip-height half walls were replaced by 11-feet-tall glass panels, and glass benches have been added.
Guests can also now "float" over Seattle 520 feet up via new Skyrisers by leaning into the tilting glass walls on the open-air deck for an angled vantage point.
The two-level observation deck will be connected by a grand spiral staircase, Oculus, with a fan-shaped glass panel so viewers can see through, slated to be completed in the next few months.
The revolving SkyCity restaurant will also be completely different. Scheduled to reopen later this year, the entire restaurant will have glass panels, glass tables and a glass floor. Diners will be able to see all the way to the ground for a sky-high meal.
According to the Space Needle website, 11-year-old Bill Gates won a dinner at the restaurant in 1966, offered by his pastor. Gates had to memorize three chapters of the Gospel of Matthew, and he reportedly recited the sermon flawlessly.
From the Space Needle, you can see the nearby mountain ranges, downtown Seattle, Mt. Rainier and Elliott Bay.
Opening in phases this summer are additional eateries, The Loupe (a revolving glass floor featuring never-before-seen views of the structure and city) and Oculus, the grand staircase.
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