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Friday, October 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington

First look: Space Needle unveils nearly complete glass observation deck

From left, Kristen and Kara Chin lean back while seated on one of the new glass benches unveiled at the Space Needle’s observation deck Thursday. Their mother, Kathleen Chin, takes in the view at right. The three are visiting from out of town. (Ken Lambert / Seattle Times)
From left, Kristen and Kara Chin lean back while seated on one of the new glass benches unveiled at the Space Needle’s observation deck Thursday. Their mother, Kathleen Chin, takes in the view at right. The three are visiting from out of town. (Ken Lambert / Seattle Times)
By Christine Clarridge Seattle Times

Seattle’s Space Needle unveiled the most expensive renovation in its history on Thursday, giving the public a chance to experience new elements of its nearly all-glass upper observation deck.

The 605-foot tower’s saucer-shaped deck has been fitted with 48 glass walls that lean out over the city and reclining glass benches that replace the concrete and metal cage built around the observation deck in the ’70s.

The new setup affords observers a 360-degree view of the Emerald City from 500 feet in the air.

About 80 percent of the upper-observation deck and open-air observation deck are complete, Space Needle officials said. The first visitors will have access to 10 of the 24 installed glass benches, called Skyrisers.

“When you sit back and sit up against the glass barriers it feels like you’re floating over Seattle,” said Space Needle spokesman Dave Mandapat. “I think they’re going to end up being the place for the ultimate Seattle selfie.”

The observation deck will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and admission is $26 per adult.

The company plans to reveal a rotating glass floor and remodeled restaurant by the Fourth of July weekend.

The project, which began in September, cost $100 million, according the Space Needle’s website. The investment is being financed privately. Additional work is expected after completion of the first phase, including repainting the tower and replacing its three elevators.

Herzog Glass employee Robert Wallace said working on the remodel has been “a dream.”

“I’m 40 years old and 40 years led up to this project,” he said.

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