If height does not scare you and watching horizons fascinate you then the observatory tower standing in the middle of Seattle in Washington called the Space Needle will certainly impress you. It is a famous landmark of the North-western part of America which got built in 1962. It has a height of 605 feet and a width of 138 feet. The weight of the Space Needle is 9,550 tons.
The Space Needle is a result of the merging of the works of two architects namely, Edward E. Carlson and John Graham Jr. It is an ambitious structure which can tolerate wind worth 200 miles per hour and earthquakes of magnitude 9.1. Adorned with 25 lightning rods it defines the city of Seattle. The Space Needle is the tallest structure standing on the western side of the Mississippi River and from the observatory deck which is at a height of 520 feet; the entire sky above the city of Seattle is visible along with the Mountains of Olympic and Cascade. It also gives a view of the other noticeable mountains around Seattle like Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliot Bay and the neighbouring islands.
The visitors can go up the Space Needle in an elevator which has a speed of 10 miles per hour however; on windy days the speed is reduced to 5 miles per hour. Records say that annually about 1 million people use the elevators while visiting the Space Needle. There are tickets to get in to the observatory deck which vary with the age of the visitors. At a height of 500 feet, the Space Needle has a rotating restaurant named SkyCity which completes the 360 degree rotation in 47 minutes. Alongside the restaurant there is also a gift shop.
One of the records made by the Space Needle is the amount of cement which went in to the foundation. It required 467 trucks which did the work in less than 12 hours thereby creating a record of concrete pouring in the West. A huge amount of steel also has gone in the making of the Space Needle and so the one inch expansion of the structure is understandable when the sun glows full.
Apart from its visual attraction, the Space Needle is also a favourite destination of BASE jumpers in the West. However, this activity needs a prior permission of the authority otherwise it is deemed as illegal and mounts up to arrest. As the Space Needle is a major landmark amongst the regions falling on the Northwest part of the Pacific, not only has it been visited by a number of celebrities but, it has also made appearances in a number of films, and fiction works, namely Sleepless in Seattle, the Parallax View, and so on. Keeping in mind it popularity but people of all ages the Lego Architecture also included the Space Needle in its construction toys as a 57 piece set. It also got included in the logo of the Seattle Sounders FC which is a big soccer team.