Seattle has changed a lot since I was small. It’s a big city now, more colorful and hip than in the ’60s. The 1962 World’s Fair was the big debut ball for the “Jet City,” and the Space Needle its most visible, most audacious landmark. Painted Galaxy Gold, the Space Needle bore the trendy colors of the era. To ride up the elevator, go onto the observation deck and sit in the restaurant revolving around the axis of the building thrilled us all.
The view from high above the city is vastly different now than what we saw then—the city stretches out farther, is more densely packed and rises higher than it did 50 years ago. The Space Needle, too, no longer stands taller than everything around it. But driving over the Ship Canal Bridge, the Needle is still the first thing you see, Seattle’s personality spiking the skyline.