Article Date: June 30th, 2012
Author: Michael Herschensohn, Ph.D.
Category: Sound Off
The sexy silhouette of the Space Needle rarely figures into the conversations about her preservation. It may be the goddess’ graceful legs, cinched waist and top-heavy observation deck – it must be more than a hat – that made her Seattle’s beloved icon. It may have been the building’s well-concealed eroticism that made Lady Needle our city’s cherished mother.
The Landmark Preservation Board postponed a vote last month on the addition of three glass boxes that would extend beyond the historic observation deck and break the lines of the halo. The glass boxes would transform the Space Needle from below and afar.
No reasons were given for the postponement until sometime in August, but growing objections to the alterations may have surprised the building’s owners. I had planned to testify that altering Seattle’s icon was not a good idea. The original icon has been tampered with too much. In my view, it is time to stop the alterations and time to preserve the visitor experience from inside and out as intended by designers Victor Steinbrueck and John Graham in 1961.
I will testify against the glass boxes at the August 1 meeting of the City of Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board.
Ed. note: Michael Herschensohn currently serves as president of the Queen Anne Historical Society. Meetings of the City of Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board are open to the public. Testimony on matters being considered may be presented at the meeting, or prior to the meeting by submission of written statements to the Historic Preservation Program; Seattle Municipal Tower; 700 5th Ave, Suite 1700; P.O. Box 94649; Seattle WA 98124-4649.