Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Design Big--Seattle Space Needle

The Space Needle is one of my favorite Big Design Objects. Here are a few pix my dad took in 1962, at the World's Fair where the Space Needle made its big debut(Thank You Daddy!). It seems so shiny and brand spanking new in these pix. Just goes to show great design is always fresh and mind-boggling! Even after 45 years!


Here are some fun design facts from the Official Space Needle website:

"Construction, managed by the Howard S. Wright Construction Company, progressed quickly. An underground foundation was poured into a hole 30 feet deep and 120 feet across. It took 467 cement trucks an entire day to fill the hole, the largest continuous concrete pour ever attempted in the West. Once completed, the foundation weighed as much as the Space Needle itself, establishing the center of gravity just above ground.
The five level top house dome was completed with special attention paid to the revolving restaurant level and Observation Deck. The top house was balanced so perfectly that the restaurant rotated with just a one horsepower electric motor. In keeping with the Century 21 theme, the final coats of paint were dubbed Astronaut White for the legs, Orbital Olive for the core, Re-entry Red for the halo and Galaxy Gold for the sunburst and pagoda roof. The 605-foot tall Space Needle was completed in December 1961 and officially opened a mere four months later on the first day of the World's Fair, April 21, 1962.
The Space Needle's elevators were the last pieces to arrive before the opening, the last one just one day before the fair opened. New, computerized elevators were installed in 1993. The elevators travel 10 mph, 14 feet per second, 800 feet per minute, or as fast as a raindrop falls to earth. In fact, a snowflake falls at 3 mph, so in an elevator during a snowstorm it appears to be snowing up.
Storms occasionally force closure of the Space Needle, as they did for the Columbus Day storm of 1962 and the “Inauguration Day” storm of 1993 when winds reached 90 miles per hour. The Needle is built to withstand a wind velocity of 200 miles per hour. The Space Needle has withstood several tremors, too, including a 2001 earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale. The tallest building west of the Mississippi River when it was built, the Space Needle has double the 1962 building code requirements, enabling the structure to withstand even greater jolts. "

I really like how the speed of the elevator matches rain speed. And my first thought after hearing about the Seattle earthquake in 2001 was that it must have been quite a ride in the Space Needle, and wished I'd been there ;0)!!!

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My Place in the Sun

My Place in the Sun

Ribular Hat and Mittens

Ribular Hat and Mittens
Buy my pattern at Ravelry! (Click pic!)

Jambo Afghan

Jambo Afghan
Buy my pattern at Ravelry! (click pic!)

Where You Can Find My Knit Designs

  • ZigZag Yoke Pullover for Women/Classic Elite Yarns
  • Swing Coat/Cherry Tree Hill Yarns
  • Generation Gap Kid's Scarf and Hat/Fall 2006 Knitter's Magazine
  • Doodles Hat and Pullover for Kids/Fall 2006 Knitter's Magazine
  • Headin' East Women's Kimono Jacket/Fall 2006 Knitter's Magazine
  • Snow Bunny Girl's Cardigan/January 2007 Creative Knitting Magazine
  • Snowman Dance Kid's Pullover and Ornament/November 2006 Creative Knitting Magazine
  • Monster Pillows/September 2006 Creative Knitting Magazine
  • Pebble Rib Women's Jacket/September 2006 Creative Knitting Magazine