The Space Needle is an observation tower, landmark of the Pacific Northwest, and an icon of Seattle. It was built in the Seattle Center for the 1962 World's Fair. It has an observation deck at 520 ft (160 m) and the rotating restaurant at 500 ft (150 m). The downtown Seattle skyline, as well as the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay and surrounding islands can be viewed from the top of the Needle. Images of the Seattle skyline often show the Space Needle prominently, above skyscrapers and Mount Rainier.
The revolving restaurant in the Space Needle is upscale and is called "Eye of the Needle".
Of the two restaurants in the Space Needle, this one is the best and most well-known. The circular restaurant and bar is located just beneath the observation deck and is reached by several elevators from the ground or observation deck. The restaurant slowly rotates and the view is breathtaking. By the time the meal is over, diners will have enjoyed a birds-eye-view of the whole city. Tables at the Eye of the Needle fill quickly, and the prices are not cheap. Still, it is a Seattle experience not to be missed.
Not widely known, except to the very well-connected, the Eye of the Needle has a secure private dining room equipped with a hermetic circle and state-of-the-art white noise generators for those private discussions.
Visitors can reach the top of the Space Needle by elevators that travel at 10 miles per hour (4.5 m/s). The trip takes 41 seconds. On windy days, the elevators slow to 5 miles per hour (2.2 m/s). Each elevator carries 25 people. There are two high speed elevators, and one freight elevator (which moves at 5 mph)
As of 2018, the real-life restaurant is named "SkyCity", or "SkyCity at the Needle".
The five principals who organized the “Pentagram Corporation” to build the Space Needle were financier Bagley Wright, contractor Howard S. Wright, architect John Graham, financier Ned Skinner, and timber magnate Norton Clapp. In 1977 Bagley Wright, Skinner and Clapp sold their interests to Howard S. Wright. The Pentagram Corporation has since become the Space Needle LLC.
The Committee Hoping for Extra-Terrestrial Encounters to Save the Earth (CHEESE) claims to have plans from the 1962 World’s Fair that show the Space Needle was constructed to send transmissions to advanced beings in other solar systems.
From the time of its construction, the Space Needle has always had a light atop the structure. The most recent version is the Legacy Light, first illuminated on New Year’s Eve 1999/2000.
The entire Space Needle saucer does not rotate, only a 14-foot ring next to the windows rotates on the SkyCity restaurant level. The restaurant turntable revolves on a track and wheel system that weighs roughly 125 tons, borrowed from railroad technology. All it takes to make the turntable revolve is a 1½ horsepower motor (originally it was a 1 hp motor).
The Space Needle sways approximately 1 inch for every 10 mph of wind. It was built to withstand a wind velocity of 200 miles per hour, doubling the 1962 building code requirements. When winds around the Needle reach high speeds, 35 mph or higher, the elevators are designed to reduce their traveling speed to 5 mph for safety reasons. During the 1993 Inaugural Day storm, wind gusts reached 90 mph and the top house was closed for an hour and a half.
The Space Needle’s top, an aircraft warning beacon, reaches 605 feet.
The Observation Deck is at 520 feet.
The SkyCity Restaurant revolves at 500 feet.
The SkyLine Banquet Facility hosts events at 100 feet.
The Pavilion entrance and SpaceBase Retail Shop are at the ground level.
There are 848 steps from the bottom of the basement to the top of the Observation Deck.
- Target: Matrix, 61