Two American Design Icons: Space Needle, Gateway Arch

EdMc

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Space Needle

From spaceneedle.com,

The Space Needle is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world and is a treasured Seattle, Washington icon. Built for the 1962 World’s Fair—the Century 21 Exposition whose theme was “The Age of Space”—the tower’s futuristic design was inspired by the idea that the fair needed a structure to symbolize humanity’s Space Age aspirations. Since its grand opening on April 21, 1962, the landmark continues to symbolize the innovative and forward-thinking spirit of Seattle. Located at Seattle Center, the Space Needle stands at 605’ tall and is one of the most photographed structures in the world.

Some history from spaceneedle.com,

In 1959, Seattle hotel executive Edward E. Carlson, who was a chief organizer of the 1962 World’s Fair, traveled to Stuttgart Germany where he was inspired by a broadcast tower featuring a restaurant. He doodled an idea of a dominant central structure for the fair on a napkin in a hotel café convinced that such a tower could make a permanent center-piece for the fair and an enduring symbol for Seattle. He called it a “Space Needle.”

Architect John “Jack” Graham focused on a flying saucer-shaped top house.

Architect Victor Steinbrueck came up with the wasp-waisted tower shape based on an abstract sculpture of a dancer called “The Feminine One.” There’s a park near Seattle’s waterfront named after Steinbrueck. It is near Pike Place Market which was saved from demolition with the help of Steinbrueck.

The Space Needle’s chief engineer, John Minasian, had also designed rocket gantries for NASA.

From Seattle Magazine, April 2012,
The Lasting Impact of Seattle's World's Fair Architects

Design at the 1962 World's Fair brought its architects acclaim well beyond the Seattle Center ground

[url]https://www.seattlemag.com/article/lasting-impact-seattles-worlds-fair-architects[/url]

San Francisco-based landscape architect Lawrence Halprin designed the fair’s master landscaping plan.

Architect Minoru Yamasaki designed the United States Science Pavilion, now the Pacific Science Center.

April 21, 1962
Opening day.

The Space Needle officially opened the first day of the World’s Fair. During the expo the tower hosted an estimated 2.65 million visitors. They included world celebrities including Elvis Presley, the Shah and Empress of Iran, Prince Philip of Great Britain, Bobby Kennedy, Walter Cronkite, John Wayne, Bob Hope, Chubby Checker, Billy Graham, John Glenn, Jonas Salk, Carol Channing, Neil Armstrong, Lyndon Johnson, Walt Disney and scores of others.













“The first phase of the renovation, completed in late summer 2018, includes breathtaking, multi-level, floor-to-ceiling glass viewing experiences including an upper level outdoor observation deck with open-air glass walls and Skyriser glass benches.” - spaceneedle.com





Roof of the Museum of Pop Culture on the right, designed by Frank Gehry.



Looking through The Loupe, the world’s first revolving glass floor.



Spiders painted by illustrator Marlin Peterson on the Seattle Center Armory (formerly the Center House).

[url]https://blog.seattlepi.com/thebigblog/2012/08/31/why-giant-daddy-longlegs-are-attacking-the-seattle-center/[/url]

“It took me about 2.5-3 weeks full time sketching and painting the roof. I spent a week or so making models and digitally painting mockups and working out how and when everything had to be done.”







Elliott Bay at Seattle’s waterfront is part of Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean



Inside an elevator, each elevator carries 25 people.
- www.elevatorworld.com/blogs/facts-about-the-space-needle-elevators







There are 832 open-air stairs that are climbable for a fee.



Travel time from the ground level to the top-house is 43 seconds.

 
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EdMc

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MoPOP, Museum of Pop Culture, with Needle





All three elevators were replaced in 1993, one is used primarily for freight.
The other two elevators are high speed and can travel at a rate of 10 mph,
or 800 feet per minute.



The earthquake stability of the Space Needle was ensured when a hole was dug 30 ft (9.1 m) deep and 120 ft (37 m) across, and 467 concrete trucks took one full day to fill it.









The Skyline Level is the events level and was built during the 2000 renovation.
























From seattlemag.com, February 2012,
Back to the Future: Why Seattle's World's Fair Mattered

[URL]https://www.seattlemag.com/article/back-future-why-seattles-worlds-fair-mattered[/url]

Seattle’s fair left the city with a permanent cultural nexus and major infrastructure. It gave us a refurbished waterfront, streetside trees and new facilities at the University of Washington. It helped boost major projects, such as the completion of Interstate 5 through downtown and the SR 520 bridge. It bequeathed to us Seattle Center, a permanent complex of theaters, pavilions, the Pacific Science Center, Coliseum (now KeyArena), Center House, Opera House, the Monorail and open urban space. It gave us an international civic symbol, the Space Needle, second only to the Eiffel Tower as a world’s fair souvenir and a tourist attraction known around the world.

The Seattle fair was a bottom-line success. It made a profit and even paid off its private investors only three months into the fair.

The organizers of Century 21 pulled off something that we’re still celebrating and analyzing.
 
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EdMc

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Gateway Arch

gatewayarch.com -
The Gateway Arch National Park (formerly known as the “Jefferson National Expansion Memorial”) stretches from the Old Courthouse to the steps overlooking the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri.
630 feet to the top of America’s tallest man-made monument, completed in 1965.
(The Washington Monument is 555 feet tall). It is as wide as it is tall.











This terrazzo floor shows a map of North America with historic trails from St. Louis and the East, allowing visitors to trace pioneers’ journeys to the West.
- archpark.org



Looking out at the Old Courthouse (federal courthouse)



In 1948, a nationwide design competition determined what shape the Memorial would take, and in 1963, construction began on architect Eero Saarinen’s design for a stainless steel arch. He based his design on the catenary curve, or the shape made by a free-hanging chain when held at both ends.- gatewayarch.com



There is a fee for the 4-minute tram ride to the top, but, the museum explaining westward expansion is free. The tram ride wasn’t completed until 1967.

The object with the orange edges is a replica of the keystone, the final section placed in the monument. - archpark.org



















Landscape architect Dan Kiley designed the Gateway Arch grounds.

The Cultural Landscape Foundation, tclf.org -

Boston-born Dan Kiley (1912-2004) was one of the most important and influential Modernist landscape architects of the 20th century.

Kiley’s professional contacts, particularly with the first generation of American Modern architects such as Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Louis Kahn, and Gordon Bunshaft, provided not only professional opportunities but shaped his design approach and direction as well.

Partnering with Saarinen again, he designed the garden for J. Irwin Miller's family in Columbus, IN, perhaps the most important Post War garden in the U.S. In 1963 he designed the gigantic approach gardens for Saarinen's Dulles Airport outside Washington, DC.

He designed the grounds of Boston’s John F. Kennedy library, one of more than 1,000 projects worldwide.

The Cultural Landscape Foundation considers him “a great artist and national treasure.”





 
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Mississippi River riverfront steps





nps.gov -
Eero Saarinen - Architect With a Vision
By Michael A. Capps

Born in Finland in 1910, Eero Saarinen was the son of Eliel Saarinen, a noted and respected architect.

He was taught that each object should be designed in its "next largest context - a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, environment in a city plan."

After working with his father on a number of projects, Eero Saarinen had a chance to express his own philosophy when he entered the 1947 architectural competition for Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.

For him, "The major concern ...was to create a monument which would have lasting significance and would be a landmark of our time... Neither an obelisk nor a rectangular box nor a dome seemed right on this site or for this purpose. But here, at the edge of the Mississippi River, a great arch did seem right."

He carefully studied the site and its surroundings to ensure that the design encompassed the whole environment. His opinion was that, "...all parts of an architectural composition must be parts of the same form-world." The Arch was to rise majestically from a small forest set on the edge of the great river. Saarinen considered it to be perfect in its form and its symbolism.

The Arch was Saarinen's first great triumph, but there would be many more. Projects such as the General Motors Technical Center near Detroit, the TWA Terminal in New York City (now a new hotel in 2019), and the Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. brought him acclaim and established him as one of the most successful and creative architects of his time.

He died of a brain tumor in 1961 at the age of 51. The Gateway Arch marked the beginning of his career just as the "Gateway to the West" marked the beginning of a new life for countless pioneers. In both cases the desire was to move boldly toward the future. The Arch is ultimately a monument to all those with a vision; Thomas Jefferson, the American pioneers, and Eero Saarinen.
 

stick n move

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So... Do you guys think they should do this? I think it makes it way more badass.





 

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