The temporary screen that was wrapping the Space Needle has been removed to reveal the first phase of the $100 million renovation that the Seattle icon is undergoing.
The 20-foot tall screen, which was attached to a work platform suspended beneath the Needle’s top house, was installed in September to provide a weatherproof environment for workers. For months, exterior views of the 56-year-old structure have been less-than-futuristic.
But the removal of the wrap — and in the coming weeks the scaffolding and plywood platform — will reveal some of the work that’s been happening, with a reimagining of the observation deck and rotating restaurant. Glass panels and a glass floor have been installed to open up views and change the visitor experience more than 500 feet above Seattle Center.
The construction wrap was removed last night and you can now see parts of the remodeled @space_needle! pic.twitter.com/HsRhiWujmo
— Do206 (@Do206) May 18, 2018
Visitors are still able to access the top house during construction. Most of the new glass has been installed on the observation deck and by Memorial Day weekend, 10 of 24 new glass benches will be in place. By mid-June, both levels of the Space Needle will be fully open.
GeekWire stepped out onto the 202,000 pound platform back in November for a unique view of the underbelly of the Needle’s “halo” and a behind-the-scenes look at everything going into the Century Project.
And in April, we stepped into a new virtual reality experience that showed what the glass floor and new glass panels would look and feel like.
According to the Space Needle, the next phases of renovation include repainting the structure, which will begin this summer, and updating and modernizing the elevators, which will happen over the next few years.