Space Needle To Add All-Glass Viewing Platforms

Something new is planned for the 50th anniversary of the iconic Space Needle tower in Seattle: Three all-glass viewing platforms on the observation deck that would allow visitors to look straight down.

The new design is said to be an attempt to improve the viewing experience and attract a new generation of visitors to the privately owned Space Needle, according to a report by the Seattle Times:

The Space Needle’s three platforms would align with — and look down on — the legs of the tower and extend toward the “halo,” offering breathtaking views of Seattle Center and the new Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit, designed by artist Dale Chihuly.

The project first needs the go-ahead from Seattle officials, however, so it’s not entirely a done deal:

Space Needle CEO Ron Sevart said the goal is to install the 10-foot by 10-foot platforms by year’s end to celebrate the structure’s 50th anniversary, but first the project needs approval from the city’s Landmarks Preservation Board later this month.

The necessary permission could come as early as next week, however.

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The Space Needle, a major Pacific Northwest landmark which stands 605 feet, was originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair. The observation deck is at the 520-foot level. From the top of the Space Needle, visitors can see the downtown Seattle skyline, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay, and surrounding islands. A rotating SkyCity restaurant is at 500 feet.

The Space Needle is located at Seattle Center, a park and arts and entertainment center in the city. Although a new pavillion was added to the base of the tower in 2000, the upper part of the tower has been left unmodified since 1982.

A 40-second elevator (10 mph) ride takes visitors to the top of the Space Needle.

[image credit: Cacophony]