Last month I checked off another bucket list item. Going up the Space Needle wasn’t a high priority item. I’ve done it before and it’s a bit expensive. There are cheaper viewing towers in Seattle that are cheaper AND give a view of the actual Space Needle.
However, a chance appeared to work at project at the Space Needle and I jumped at it.
A Glass Floor in the Sky
Recently the Space Needle fully reopened after installing the only rotating glass floor in the world. Standing on rotating glass at 520’ (158.5 meters) in the air isn’t as scary as it sounds. It moves slowly and takes 30-45 minutes for a full circuit. Occasionally, while kneeling to get something from my backpack I felt a little put off, but it was easy to forget there was just a piece of glass between my feet and the ground… all that way down.
The glass floor made it easy to give directions. (It wasn’t my job but people can’t tell the difference between a customer service team member and a market researcher, so I help when I can.) Someone asked where the science center was. It was under our feet. I have extra affection for the Pacific Science Center. They painted a message on their roof congratulating the Space Needle on their renovation. It’s fun, and much better than the freaking house-sized spiders with realistic shadows on the Armory—which sells lunch, not weapons.
Two Unanswered Questions
If you’ve skipped down and seen the Space Needle photos you probably expect one of my unanswered questions. Why is the rotating floor called the Loupe? It is an English word that while rare is growing in use, but it describes a jeweler’s magnifying glass. I’m struggling to see the connection. I did ask, but the team member didn’t know the answer.
My second question is also about the glass floor: how thick is it? Knowing the answer doesn’t make me feel any more (or less) safe, but I am curious. It’s like when the aquariums have the sample piece showing what it takes to hold back all that water and a few sharks.
The Space Needle has VR units I didn’t try because I was there to work, and mostly standard tourist stuff in the gift shop, but the Emerald City shirt was very tempting. As I said, the Space Needle wasn’t a priority bucket list item, but it was fun checking all the sights, especially as I know Seattle much better than when I last went up there in 2011. Sitting on the top level as a cloud came in is probably something I’ll never experience again. I didn’t realize how rare it was until later I interviewed a former Space Needle employee who said he had never seen it in his years of working there.
That’s another bucket list item is done and Melbourne is getting closer.