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Space Needle

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Space Needle
The flag of the United States on the Space Needle on Independence Day, 2011
General information
TypeObservation tower
Location400 Broad Street
Seattle, Washington
Coordinates47°37′13″N 122°20′57″W / 47.6204°N 122.3491°W / 47.6204; -122.3491 (Space Needle)Coordinates: 47°37′13″N 122°20′57″W / 47.6204°N 122.3491°W / 47.6204; -122.3491 (Space Needle)
Construction startedApril 17, 1961
CompletedDecember 8, 1961
OpeningApril 21, 1962
Antenna spire184.41 m (605.0 ft)
Top floor158.12 m (518.8 ft)
Technical details
Floor count6
Design and construction
OwnerSpace Needle Corporation
Main contractorHoward S. Wright Construction Co.
ArchitectJohn Graham & Company
Structural engineerJohn K. Minasian
Victor Steinbrueck

The Space Needle is a tower in Seattle, Washington. It is at the Seattle Center. The Space Needle was built for the 1962 World's Fair. During this time, almost 20,000 people used the elevators every day. Over 2.3 million visitors came to the World Fair overall. The Space Needle is 605 feet (184 m) high and 138 feet (42 m) wide. It weighs 9,550 tons. When it was completed it was the tallest building to the west of the Mississippi River.[5] It is built not to fall in wind up to 200 miles per hour (89 m/s) and earthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitude.[6] This gives protection against an earthquake as powerful as the 1700 Cascadia earthquake. The tower also has 25 lightning rods on its roof to protect it against lightning.

The Space Needle has a deck at 520 feet (160 m), where people can look down and look at the view around them. It also has a gift shop with a rotating SkyCity restaurant at 500 feet (150 m).[5] From the top of the Needle, the Downtown Seattle skyline, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay and islands around it can be seen. Photographs of the Seattle skyline often show the Space Needle.

Visitors can reach the top of the Space Needle by using elevators. These elevators travel at 10 miles per hour (4.5 m/s). The trip to the top takes 41 seconds. Some tourists wait in hour-long lines so that they can go to the top of the tower. On windy days, the elevators are slowed down to a 5 miles per hour (2.2 m/s). The Space Needle was made a historic landmark on April 19, 1999, by the City's Landmarks Preservation Board.[5][7]


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