With the sun setting behind the Olympic Mountains and Mount Rainier revealing off behind the skyline on a crisp November night, the only thing missing out on from this essential Seattle view was the city’s most renowned landmark, the Area Needle.But the Area Needle was our perspective on Monday evening.With demolition and restoration work hitting hit complete stride as part of the multi-year,$100 million Century Job, GeekWire got a behind-the-scenes appearance at how things are progressing near the top of the 55-year-old structure.It’s the current stop on our advertisement hoc trip of the city’s engineering marvels. Just days ago I was deep below Seattle for an end-to-end trip through the State Route 99 tunnel. On Monday, after riding an elevator in the opposite direction, I stepped out onto the huge, al fresco platform that was lifted into place underneath the Needle’s leading house in September.
level rendering.(Olson Kundig Image) I had not played tourist and gone to the top of the Needle in more than 20 years. And a line in an earlier email welcoming me to take this media tour kept returning to me: “Although it is safe and fulfills all OSHA standards, this work area is not suggested for anybody not comfortable with exposed heights.”
Basing on the plywood decking 500 feet above the Seattle Center grounds, I got an up-close look at parts of the Needle that few individuals have actually ever seen– unless they belong to the teams working on it now or were among those who assisted construct it back in 1961.
The rigging engineered to support workers and devices and contain building and construction particles weighs 202,000 pounds. It’s attached to and suspended below the steel supports that offer the base for the levels above, including the rotating SkyCity restaurant and the observation deck, where visitors pay $22 for the chance to see Seattle from on high.
Reaching up and touching this part of the structure, below the “halo” of the Needle, was sort of spectacular. The soffit beneath the flooring above has already been eliminated and the turntable and tracks that the dining establishment turns on were visible.But as high as I was here, others have been greater, in a minimum of one sense of the word. A Needle associate told us that among numerous engravings found on the steel beams, one from a previous worker read, “I smoked a doobie here in 1976.”
If that individual only knew that 40-plus years later in Seattle, legalized marijuana would negate the requirement to take one’s vice to such great heights.
While the observation deck is remaining open during this phase of the task, the dining establishment closed a couple months back and has actually currently been gutted.The person hosting
station is gone therefore is the piano and whatever else. The windows are covered with plywood and the floorings and ceiling have been peeled back to bare concrete.Upstairs, the cooking area prep area and the restrooms are gone, too. The upper halo of the Area Needle is visibe above two building and construction employees on the platform. (GeekWire Photo/ Kurt Schlosser)SkyCity will take on a more literal significance as the city’s dining establishment
in the sky. The turning flooring will be glass as part of the new experience and diners will be able to avert from their meal and down between the steel supports to see green turf far below.On the observation deck, tourists will get an enhanced 360-degree view thanks to floor-to-ceiling glass panels on the inside location and high glass panels on the outer ring viewing area.Everything up top will be linked by a brand-new stairway.While the whole Century Task will take years to finish, the very first phase will be done in simply nine months,
with the restaurant reopening next May. The platform as viewed from the ground looking back up at the Area Needle.(GeekWire Photo/ Kurt Schlosser)