NO! Space Needle Restaurant is Closing!

Anyone who knows Seattle knows that the Space Needle is a crucial part, if not THE identifying part of the Seattle Skyline. The problem? It’s old. 55 years old in fact, and it hasn’t undergone much if any renovation in those 50 plus years. Well, that’s about to change. Parts of the needle and SkyCity, the Space Needle Restaurant, will be closing in a couple of months.

The Space Needle and it’s restaurant will be undergoing a huge renovation starting in September of 2017. The total cost? Over $100 million and a total renovation time of about 9 months. In order to not completely shut off the needle, they will be undergoing renovations 1/6 at a time.  

Space Needle

From spaceneedle.com

According to Karen Olsen, the Chief Marketing Officer of the Space Needle:

“The intent was to have a thrilling view over Seattle. It didn’t have pony walls and cages when it was built, so how do we get out of the way to get that thrilling view again?”

Century Project

The entire project is being dubbed the Century Project, and I couldn’t think of a more fitting name. If this renovation goes well, you can imagine that the Needle will be ready to receive visitors for another century at least. Here’s a great video put together by the designers.

Century Project from Space Needle on Vimeo.

Afraid of Heights?

So, what’s changing? Well, the observation deck is ditching the metal cage that’s been surrounding it in favor of 11 foot glass windows. My first thought? My God how are they going to keep that clean?! And the most striking change is coming in the SkyCity restaurant. The entire restaurant will be closed for the entire 9 months while the floor is removed and replaced with a full glass floor, allowing views all the way 600 feet below. They’ll also be replacing the motor which rotates the restaurant at about once every 45 minutes, providing stunning views of the city.

From spaceneedle.com

Go eat now!

Don’t worry, you’ve still got until September to grab a table at the restaurant. Ben and I have had the pleasure of eating here twice and it’s stunning, albeit a bit pricey. If you don’t get in before September, you’ll have to wait until late May or early June to get another reservation.

The needle itself, the observation deck, and the elevators will remain in service throughout the winter, but only 5/6 of the deck at a time. I am excited to see how things end up in the end, as the observation deck is pretty awesome now, and I’m expecting it to be a lot better now. One of the worst parts was the wind at the very top, being that it’s wide open. I am hoping that these large glass panes will help to make the viewing experience that much better.

Have you been to the Space Needle? How about SkyCity?

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Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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