Many architects and designers had a hand in the Space Needle, erected for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair—aka the Century 21 Exposition. World’s Fair Commission chair Eddie Carlson made the original, rough sketch of a needle-like lounge in the clouds. Legendary Seattle architect Paul Thiry was the mastermind behind the fair’s cohesive, futuristic look.
But once the plan was in place, three architects rolled up their sleeves and designed what became perhaps Seattle’s most iconic landmark. John Graham, Jr. focused on the saucer at the top. Victor Steinbrueck—best-known for leading the Pike Place Market historic preservation effort in the 1960s—was behind the curving tower shape, inspired by an abstract wooden sculpture called “The Feminine One” by David Lemon. John T. Ridley was charged with the crown at the top.
All three of these architects had an impact on Seattle that stretch far beyond that part of the skyline, though. Graham was the father of the modern shopping mall. Steinbrueck is a big reason why the historic Pike Place Market still stands today. Ridley designed many area homes and a few neighborhood staples.
Here’s some of Graham, Steinbrueck, and Ridley’s most visible work in Seattle, from towers to parks—Space Needle excluded.
Map points are ordered from north to south.Read More