The Space Needle Is Getting Some Spendy Upgrades

It's so much glass and all I can think of are fingerprints...

June 13, 2017
Space Needle

by Gregr


For the third time in its fifty-five year history, the Space Needle is getting some spendy renovations. Even though it's just alien enough to be timeless, certain aspects in person make it a bit clunky - specifically those cagey chains on the observation deck to keep your stay at the Space Needle from descending to the ground in a hurry. Get 'em outta here!  

Serving as the icon other than grunge people name when thinking of Seattle, it makes sense to keep this thing looking great.

The plan is to spend $100million, calling it the Century Project, and they're pretty much just putting glass everywhere. The plan even calls for a glass floor under the restaurant! I can only imagine how much their window washing budget is going up. Oily little kids pressing their everything against the glass will be leaving boogers and other slimy unknown kid crap on everything. Gross. That aside, the view is only going to get better. That's just part of the ideas for this big spend.

Here's what had listed for planned renovations:

  • New glass structural barriers will replace the wire safety “caging” on the outer open-air observation deck.
  • The new exterior glass barriers will match the flow of the building, dipping outward at a small angle, offering a seamless sight line.
  • Sleek, canted glass benches will be affixed to alternating glass barriers on the outer open-air observation deck.
  • In the interior, floor-to-ceiling glass will take the place of low-level exterior walls creating uninhibited views from the moment guests step off the elevator.
  • In the interior, a dramatic new open circular stairway made of steel, wood, and glass will wind down from the observation deck to the restaurant level. At the base of the new open stairway will be a glass-floored oculus revealing views of the Space Needle’s steel superstructure, as well as the elevators and counterweights ascending and descending.
  • The restaurant level will also feature floor-to-ceiling glass and will upgrade its original rotating floor to one of glass, creating an awe-inspiring new view — a look down to the Space Needle’s structure itself, the mechanics of the rotating floor, and the sprawling Seattle Center campus below.
  • On the observation deck, there will be improved accessibility with a custom-designed, state-of-the-art ADA lift and improved access with the addition of double-sized doors and wide stairways allowing for a more gracious, crowd-friendly ingress and egress to the outer deck.

$100million - that would take 4,000,000 rides at an average of $25/pop... Wanna bet they'll increase prices when they're done? The first phase of updates should be done by June 2018. Let's hope that this thing never decides to lift off and return to its home in the heavens!

Here are a few more photos and an infographic: