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  1. ArchDaily
  2. 1960s

1960s: The Latest Architecture and News

AD Classics: Space Needle / John Graham & Company

Courtesy of Wikimedia user Rattlhed (Public Domain)
Courtesy of Wikimedia user Rattlhed (Public Domain)

The opening of the Century 21 Exposition on April 21, 1962 transformed the image of Seattle and the American Northwest in the eyes of the world. The region, which had been known until that point more for its natural resources than as a cultural capital, established a new reputation as a center of emergent technologies and aerospace design. This new identity was embodied by the centerpiece of the exposition: the Space Needle, a slender assemblage of steel and reinforced concrete which became—and remains—Seattle’s most iconic landmark.[1]

The Space Needle under construction before its opening in April 1962. ImageCourtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives (Public Domain)Courtesy of Wikimedia user Cacophony (Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)A 1962 cutaway drawing of the Space Needle's tophouse. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user James Vaughan (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)This sketched rendering of the Space Needle dates to April 1961 – one year before its opening. ImageCourtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives (Public Domain)+ 7