Seattle Center is the famous fairgrounds of the 1962 World’s fair, renamed the Seattle Center after the exposition ended. The fairground is located northwest of downtown and south of Queen Anne.
The most famous attraction of Seattle Center is the Space Needle, the city’s most recognized landmark. You’ll also be able to enjoy carnival rides in the summer at the Fun Forest, watch 3-D IMAX films at the Boeing IMAX Theatre, catch a Seattle Sonics NBA game at the Key Arena, or eat year-round at the international eateries of the Seattle Center House. Check event listings also if you are interested in attending the opera or live theatre at the various venues in Seattle Center, which include the Seattle Repertory Theatre and the Marion Oliver McCaw Hall.
Experience Music Project
Another main attraction of Seattle Center is the Experience Music Project, which is a concert space designed by Frank Gehry. It contains the world’s biggest video screen measured at 40 feet by 70 feet. In addition, the Experience Music Project contains rare memorabilia and exhibits including collections from Jimi Hendrix and the famous guitars of Eddie van Halen.
Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame
Within the Experience Music Project building, you’ll also find the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame with artifacts such as the command chair of Captain Kirk from Star Trek and the B9 robot from Lost in Space. There are also thousands of other artifacts and memorabilia from various science fiction movies and television shows. The Science Fiction Hall of Fame is part of the museum whose members include Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, H.G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, Gene Roddenberry, and Ridley Scott.
The Seattle Monorail is also within the Science Center grounds. It was built to transport visitors of the 1962 World’s Fair from the downtown hotels to Seattle Center. It was designed to look futuristic, described as a preview of mass transit in the future. During the fair, the monorail transported a total of 8 million passengers. Today, it is used by about 2.5 million people every year. The train reaches speeds of 60 miles per hour.
Pacific Science Center
The Pacific Science Center occupies the building that was used in the 1962 World’s Fair for the U.S. Pavilion. The modern gothic complex stands 110 feet high and features majestic fountains and reflecting pools. The Pacific Science Center displays hands-on math and science exhibits including a permanent Dinosaurs exhibit called “Journey Through Time” which takes visitors back to the Mesozoic Era to meet robotic but lifelike dinosaurs. Other exhibits include Insect Village, which features robotic insects and a mini-zoo with a tarantula among other creepy crawlers. Outside of the center is the High Rail Bicycle, which stands 15 feet high and can be ridden by visitors.
Brewer, Stephen, Constance Brissenden, and Anita Carmin. Pacific Northwest. New York: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc., 2003. ISBN: 0789496801.
“Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.” < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_Fiction_Museum_and_Hall_of_Fame>
“Seattle Center.” < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle_center>
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