In 1959 Edward E. Carlson, president of Western International Hotels, sat at a small coffee house and found inspiration within the Stuttgart Tower that is located within Germany. With the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair in mind, Carlson sketched a structure that had a dominant center on a napkin. Although Carlson quickly drew he sketch, he found that constructing the structure was a difficult task. Although Carlson’s first drawing had a balloon-shaped top, architectures agreed a smoother and more leveled structure would be a better fit. So, renowned architect John Graham joined forces with Carlson and created the flying saucer appearance.
Once everyone agreed on the structure, the next obstacle was finding adequate land and funds to carry out the structure. Due to the nature of the Space Needle and the desire for it to be showcased within the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the Space Needle had to be built upon land that could be used publicly and was within the limits of the fair. Right before Carlson and Graham were about to abandon their search for a piece of land, they discovered a 120 foot by 120 foot area.
After acquiring the land, Carlson and Graham had approximately 13 months to build the Space Needle. Under the supervision and work of the Howard S. Wright Construction Company completed the project by December 1961. When the Howard S. Wright Construction Company created the underground foundation, a total of 467 cement trucks were used throughout the entire day. This is known as the largest concrete pour that continuously occurred in the West. As for the exterior design of the Space Needle, paint colors consisted of names such as; Astronaut White, Orbital Olive, Re-entry red, and Galaxy Gold. These colors and names were used with regards to the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair theme of the 21st Century.
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