Space Needle unveils the world’s first revolving glass floor

Have you ever wondered what birds see when they fly over Seattle? Well, now you can see for yourself.

The Space Needle’s rotating glass floor is officially open to the public.

Five hundred feet above the city, patrons can look down and see the top of MoPOP, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and the tiny figures of people milling about on the streets below.

The 12 motors and dozens of rollers that keep the floor gliding along are also visible along the edges of the floor, reminiscent of the inside of a watch.

The idea of standing hundreds of feet above the city with nothing but glass between you and open space may not appeal to everyone.

But Karen Olson with the Space Needle said it’s perfectly safe.

“This glass floor is ten layers of reinforced structural glass. It’s stronger than concrete, you can just see right through it,” Olson said.

According to Olson, this is the first and only floor of its kind in the world.

Known as “The Loupe,” the floor can rotate at varying speeds and in both directions.

It’s part of a $100 million renovation of the Space Needle that’s nearing completion.

Construction hasn’t been an easy task. Olson said everything that couldn’t fit in the elevator was hoisted up by a crane that was situated on top of the Space Needle.

Overall, the renovations have added 200 percent more glass to the iconic structure, which now has a full time glass cleaning team.

Olson said they hope the renovations will mean the Space Needle is as exciting 50 years from now as it was when it was first built for the 1962 World’s Fair.

Seattle's Space Need at sunset on April 22, 2012.
Seattle’s Space Needle at sunset on April 22, 2012. (Creative Commons photo by Richard Ha)
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