The Space Needle
|Formerly:||Century 21 Space Needle||Formerly:||The Seattle Tower|
A symbol not only of Seattle, but of the entire northwest, the Space Needle has been called the Eiffel Tower of the Pacific. Like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Space Needle was created for an international exposition. In this case, the 1962 World's Fair. The Space Needle's unique shape is the result of a compromise. One early design envisioned a balloon tethered to the ground. This element cam be seen in its gently sloping legs. Another design envisioned a flying saucer. This can be clearly seen in the halo that holds the restaurants and observation deck. Once the specific physics of the merged plans were worked out what remains is today's Needle. While not as notoriously unstable as Los Angeles, Seattle has more than its fair share of earthquakes. Obviously the Space Needle had to be designed with this in mind. The engineers wanted to make sure it would stand up to Mother Nature, so they exceeded the building codes of the time. In addition to earthquakes, the tower can withstand winds up to 200 miles an hour, but will close to the public during less fierce storms as a precaution.
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