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Space Needle turns 50 with blasts from the past

April 21, 2012|By Dalina Castellanos
  • Jeff Wright and his daughter Mauren, 15, paint the sloped surface atop the Space Needle its original 1962 color, "Galaxy Gold," in preparation for its 50th anniversary. Wright is the son of Howard S. Wright, the builder of the iconic structure.
Jeff Wright and his daughter Mauren, 15, paint the sloped surface atop the… (Bettina Hansen/AP Photo…)

The Space Needle offered more than a spectacular view Saturday. It marked the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair by taking people back in time -- sort of.

(After all, the Space Needle does resemble a UFO.) 

Visitors who wanted to experience a 360-degree view of the Emerald City from the structure's observation deck could buy a ticket for $1, the price in 1962 -- although the 2012 skyline offers a different view. 

The 605-foot-tall Space Needle was once the tallest building west of the Mississippi River, though it has since been dwarfed by Seattle's skyscrapers. 

The spherical structure on top was painted its original color, “Galaxy Gold,” to mark the occasion, said Sara Thompson, program director for the Seattle Center Foundation, in a telephone interview with the Times.

A six-month celebration was launched with a party at the Seattle Center, a 74-acre campus built for the World’s Fair.

The center includes the Space Needle, Experience Music Project Museum and the Key Arena.

The Next 50 anniversary will also bring together more than 200 employees who worked at the World’s Fair at a reunion June 30, Thompson said.

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dalina.castellanos@latimes.com

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