If you're afraid of heights, the iconic Seattle landmark, the Space Needle may not have been in your plans anyway. But thanks to a $100 million renovation currently underway on Seattle's most famous structure in its skyline, there's a fresh attraction that's perfect for thrill-seekers and people who appreciate a good view.
The world's first (and only) revolving glass floor, known as "The Loupe," is located just below the open-air observation deck on the Space Needle. The new floor is made up of 10 layers of tightly bonded glass, and replaces the non-glass floor that was originally installed as part of the restaurant there when it first opened during the 1962 Seattle World's Fair.
Visitors on the observation deck now have a terrifyingly clear, unobstructed 360-degree view of the city streets below them. People can walk, hang out, and look down on the architecture of the city from 500 feet above the ground.
The floor also rotates on a turntable thanks to the help of four motors (which are also visible) and 48 rollers that can vary the speed on how fast the floor completes one rotation.
Among some of the other renovations being undertaken at the Space Needle include replacing walls, barriers and even entire floors with the clear structural glass. The renovations are meant to help expand views for the more than one million guests who pass through the landmark every year.
The 650-foot-tall Space Needle was built in just 400 days in time for the 1962 World Fair. It was designed to withstand winds of up to 200 mph, and earthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitude.