SEATTLE -- The Space Needle is about to undergo a major multi-year renovation, bringing floor-to-ceiling glass to both the observation deck and restaurant.
The privately funded Century Project is a historic renovation effort designed to preserve the 55-year-old icon.
The project will open up even clearer 360-degree views of Puget Sound with floor-to-ceiling glass in the interior and exterior of the Observation Deck.
The restaurant level will be reimagined with a "first-of-its-kind rotating glass floor revealing downward views of the structure never seen before."
Construction will fully begin in September and the initial phase should be finished by June 2018. The project is estimated to cost $100 million, officials say.
The SkyCity Restaurant and SkyLine private event space will be closed during construction.
“This project both connects us back to our roots, to the vision that my father and his partners had when they built the Space Needle in 1962, and guides us forward into the future for generations to enjoy,” said Jeff Wright, chairman, Space Needle LLC.
Here are seven key features of the renovation:
- New glass structural barriers will replace the wire safety “caging” on the outer open-air Observation Deck.
- The new exterior glass barriers will match the flow of the building, dipping outward at a small angle, offering a seamless sight line.
- Sleek, canted glass benches will be affixed to alternating glass barriers on the outer open-air Observation Deck.
- In the interior, floor-to-ceiling glass will take the place of low-level exterior walls creating uninhibited views from the moment guests step off the elevator.
- In the interior, a dramatic new open circular stairway made of steel, wood, and glass will wind down from the Observation Deck to the restaurant level. At the base of the new open stairway will be a glass-floored oculus revealing views of the Space Needle’s steel superstructure, as well as the elevators and counterweights ascending and descending.
- The restaurant level will also feature floor-to-ceiling glass and will upgrade its original rotating floor to one of glass, creating an awe-inspiring new view — a look down to the Space Needle’s structure itself, the mechanics of the rotating floor, and the sprawling Seattle Center campus below.
- On the Observation Deck, there will be improved accessibility with a custom-designed, state-of-the-art ADA lift and improved access with the addition of double-sized doors and wide stairways allowing for a more gracious, crowd-friendly ingress and egress to the outer deck.
“This reinvestment ensures the long-term viability of the Space Needle,” said Ron Sevart, president and CEO, Space Needle LLC. "We have a commitment to our Team Members, our guests, and to the community to preserve the Space Needle as a civic and cultural icon for future generations. This translates directly into long-term job security for our Team Members and positive economic impact to the Seattle Center as well as the greater Seattle area.”