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How Space Needle looks now: New glass platform isn’t for the faint of heart

SEATTLE (AP) — The biggest renovation in the 56-year history of Seattle’s iconic Space Needle is set to be unveiled — and it’s not for the acrophobic.
The outer observation deck used to let viewers look down at the city from behind a waist-high solid barrier topped with a grid of wire. Now it’s all glass, tall panels with minimal hardware that give the illusion of nothing between you and a 520-foot drop. Glass ledges allow what the landmark’s website call “a spine-tingling Seattle selfie.”
One floor below, at the restaurant, the revolving floor is being replaced with glass as well. When the restaurant reopens this summer, even diners without a window seat will be able to look straight down to Seattle Center. They’ll also be able to see the motors that turn the outer ring of the restaurant, one revolution every 47 minutes.
The landmark, owned by the Wright family, was transformed by a  $100 million investment and a year of construction.
“The environment is friendly with this type of investment. It wasn’t a difficult thing at all to obtain financing,” said Ron Sevart, president and chief executive officer at Space Needle LLC. “What we like to say is trends last 50 years. What this investment is more about is the next 50 years, and making sure the space needle stays relevant.”
Repainting the exterior of the 600-foot structure and replacing its three elevators will follow, according to Karen Olson, chief marketing officer at Space Needle.
The Space Needle was the centerpiece of the Seattle World’s Fair, in 1962. General admission is $26.
 

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