– What kind of drink best
embodies the Space Needle? Have you ever wondered
why the Space Needle looks the way it does? I feel like Vannah White. (string music) In 1962, Seattle wanted an event that would put it on the map. – [Announcer] Everybody’s
planning to see Seattle’s spectacular 100 million
dollar World’s Fair. – A group of Seattle
business people knew that World’s Fairs needed
to have an iconic structure. And they wanted to build
the space age equivalent of the Eiffel Tower. Easier thought of than executed. The Chairman of the
World’s Fair Committee went on a trip to
Stuttgart, Germany and there he saw a tower
that had a restaurant and observation deck on it, and it looked kinda
like a needle. And he came back and
he proposed this idea to the fair executives. The company they went to was John Graham and associates. Graham and his guys
began doing sketches. This was the starting point but it went through
many, many iterations. And one of the things
that Graham became very interested
in was making sure that the Space Needle had a
flying saucer looking top. He’d say more disc, more disc, make it discy. The very first object
called a flying saucer was sighted at Mt.
Rainier in the late 1940s. They needed a final design, nothing pleased Graham. So he hired another
local architect to work for him. Guy named Victor Steinbrueck. He had a wooden sculpture
called The Feminine One, which was an abstract
sculpture of a dancer reaching up to the sky. And that was their
break through design. So the artifact
that we have today is a time capsule. And in 1982, for the 20th
anniversary of the Space Needle, the staff asked Jack
Graham to recreate in his own hand his
original concept. The Space Needle for people, it embodied a very bright future made better by science
and technology. It was a kind of attitude
that inspired Star Trek. It was the kind of
attitude that said somehow, in space, people
are gonna be better than they are here on Earth. Imagine, at the same time the
Space Needle was being built, literally, the Berlin
Wall was being built. And so there’s another
interesting message there about what kind of society
are you gonna live in? Are you gonna live in a society where they’re building walls? Or are you gonna
live in a society where we’re building platforms
to see a brighter future? So there was an
interesting kind of subtle almost propaganda element to it, but it also reflected, I
think Seattle’s positivity about the future.

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