Ah, the Space Needle, Seattle’s pride and joy. You see it every day but do you know why it and Seattle Center are there? If you didn’t grow up in Seattle, you may not know the backstory. So in honor of the Seattle World’s Fair, let’s get into some details.

On April 21st, 1962, thousands of people arrived in Seattle to see “America’s Space Age World’s Fair,” the Century 21 Exposition. Its creation was modeled after the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. However, in the 60s life was much more about looking toward the future more specifically toward science and technology.

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While the fair’s buildings were meant to showcase the latest and greatest of the day, they were also meant to be reused, eventually acting as a civic center for Seattle. And that’s mostly what happened, we still have the Space Needle, the Monorail, the Seattle Center, and Pacific Science Center buildings as well as Key Arena which is now much different and also known as Climate Pledge Arena.

Beyond the buildings, the fair showcased performances, music, artwork, and ideals for the future. There were even some famous folks in attendance like Elvis Presley, Walt Disney, end even former vice-president Richard Nixon. It was a time to be alive and while most of us probably missed out on it, at least we have the buildings to mark the memory. Psst, they’re actually repainting the Space Needle to its original color for even more nostalgia.