Sunday May 15, 2005: Seattle Center & Jimi Hendrix Memorial
Being that I only had today and part of Monday open

for exploration, I decided to visit the Seattle Center and the

Jimi Hendrix Memorial today. The weather today was showery. Since I

realized I would have to stay outdoors to explore the Seattle Center, I decided to

devote most of the day to it and use early Monday morning to visit Jimi's Memorial if necessary.
(Click on picture for a larger view)
At the Seattle Center I wanted to visit the following places if time and most importantly money allowed;

1) Space Needle
2) Experience Music Project
3) Sculpture Garden
4) International Fountain
5) Pacific Science Center
(Click on picture for a larger view)
The Space Needle is

located at

400 Broad Street.
(Click on picture for a larger view)
After first exploring the Space Needle from outside, I decided I should make the

Experience Music Project my last stop here at the Seattle Center because there was a

break in the weather and I did not want to take pictures in the rain. So next I decided to

venture around the Sculpture Garden.
(Click on picture for a larger view)
    The Sculpture Garden, located at Broad and John Street is a free

attraction with four huge unique freestanding sculpted metal pieces

of art. Each metal sculpture was created by different artists;

Ronald Bladen, Alexander Liberman, Doris Chase, and Tony Smith.
(Click on picture for a larger view)
(Click on picture for a larger view)
(Click on picture for a larger view)

        The Seattle Center is located at 305 Harrison Street in Seattle. According to

the Seattle Center's website, "
The [Seattle Center site was]

chosen for the 1962 World's Fair [and] is rich in history

for Native Americans and later residents." There have

been three phases of development for the Seattle

Center. In the second phase of Seattle Center's

development, and most significant, "was the

consolidation and acquisition of property to create

the 1962 World's Fair site. This effort created the

74-acre campus and changed our City's skyline

forever, with the addition of the Space Needle,

Pacific Science Center, Coliseum (now Key Arena) and more
" (Seattle Center - Space Needle).
                                       The Sculpture Garden is "framed by the retro-futuristic

                              backdrop of the Space Needle and the post-modern

Experience Music Project building
" (Seattle Center - Sculpture Garden).
So how did the Space Needle come into being? Well

In 1959, an unlikely artist inspired by the Stuttgart Tower in

Germany was sketching his vision of a dominant central structure for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair on a

placemat in a coffee house. The artist was Edward E. Carlson. His space-age image was to be the focus

of the futuristic World's Fair in Seattle, whose theme would be Century 21. Carlson penciled the shape

that would become the internationally known symbol for Seattle, the Space Needle.

However, Carlson and his supporters soon found moving the symbol from the placemat to the

drawing board to the construction phase was not an easy process. The first obstacle was the structure's

design. Carlson's initial sketch underwent many transformations. One drawing resembled a tethered

balloon and another was a balloon-shaped top house on a central column anchored by cables. Architect

John Graham, fresh from his success in designing the world's first shopping mall (Seattle's Northgate),

turned the balloon design into a flying saucer. A dozen architects on Graham's team worked on sketches

and ideas before a final compromise was reached just a year and a half before the fair was to open.

Construction...progressed quickly. An underground foundation was poured into a hole 30 feet deep and

120 feet across. It took 467 cement trucks an entire day to fill the hole, the largest continuous concrete

pour ever attempted in the West. Once completed, the foundation weighed as much as the Space Needle

itself, establishing the center of gravity just above ground.

The 605-foot tall Space Needle was completed in December 1961 and officially opened a mere

four months later on the first day of the World's Fair, April 21, 1962...The Needle is built to withstand a

wind velocity of 200 miles per hour. The Space Needle has withstood several tremors, too...[And a final

note, the] Space Needle was built for just $4.5 million.
" (