5 Facts You May Have Not Known about Seattle’s Famous Space Needle

Everyone knows the Space Needle, even people who have never been to Seattle. It’s the city’s central landmark and the number one tourist destination in the Pacific Northwest. Go to a gift shop and you’re bound to find miniature Space Needle figurines and tons of postcards with the Space Needle as their main focus. The slightly extraterrestrial-looking observation tower drew in more than 2.3 million visitors when it first opened for the 1962 World’s Fair. To this day, it is visited by more than 1 million people each year.

So it’s been established that everyone knows about the Space Needle, but what do people really know about the Space Needle? Here below are five little known but interesting facts you may have had no idea about:

  1. In less than 12 hours, 467 cement trucks worked in unison to fill the foundation hole of the Space Needle during its construction. They set the record for the largest continuous concrete pour in the west.
  2. Wind causes it to sway.  A strong breeze blowing at 10 miles per hour (mph) causes the Space Needle to sway approximately 1 inch. It can supposedly withstand wind velocities up to 200 mph. When winds reach speeds of 35 mph or higher, the tower’s elevators reduce their traveling speed to 5 mph for safety purposes.
  3. Each elevator in the Space Needle weights 14,000 pounds and can carry up to 4,500 pounds. The maximum number of people allowed in each elevator is 25. Although each elevator is suspended by seven cables, one is fully capable of supporting the entire weight of the elevator.
  4. If one were to ride one of the elevators down during a snowstorm, it would appear as if the snow were falling up. The reason for this is the elevator’s optimal travel speed: 10 mph, which is faster than the rate at which a snowflake falls, 3 mph.
  5. The restaurant turntable’s system weighs approximately 125 tons and is driven by technology used on railroads. Defying all expectation, the turntable only requires 1 ½ horsepower to revolve.

I love the Space Needle and what it stands for in our great city. Do you have a favorite landmark? Let me know!

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