This week in Seattle history: World’s Fair permanently alters landscape

Photo by Photo Coyote from our Flickr photo pool

The World’s Fair was a transitory event but it left a lasting mark on the city of Seattle, its host back in 1962. Back in April of 1961 – the 17th, to be precise–ground was broken for the building of the Space Needle. Construction crews worked around the clock to get it done and the very last elevator car was installed just one day before the fair opened on April 21, 1962. The Space Needle was such a popular attraction that nearly 200,000 people got in the elevators and rode to the top and the Needle remains today an immensely popular attraction for both tourists and locals. The Space Needle is a major landmark, recognized around the world as a symbol of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. In recognition of this, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Board designated the Space Needle a historic landmark on April 19, 1999.

Also built for the World’s Fair was the Seattle Center Monorail. Did you know that at 45 mph, our monorail lays claim to being the fastest full-sized monorail in the country? The monorail is also popular with both tourists and locals, transporting a milllion and a half riders a year, and was designated a historical landmark on April 16, 2003.

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