Seattle Center is a 74-acre park (for lack of a better word). Built for the 1962 World's Fair, but always intended to live on long after, it features a mix of public spaces, and both city and privately run attractions.
Some of the attractions featured in this update will likely receive their own, more detailed, updates at some point in the future. But I wanted to start with an overview of what is undoubtedly the cultural and tourism center of Seattle.
Seattle Center's most famous tenant is, of course, the Space Needle. Indeed, this attraction is almost synonymous with the city itself. Once the tallest building west of the Mississippi, it's now not even one of the five tallest buildings in Seattle. However, a city ordinance keeps its views intact by forbidding other tall buildings being built around it. Smart.
Seattle Center features quite a few different permanent sculptures and other art installations, such as Sonic Bloom, which plays various tones as you walk through it.
Don't let the fact that Chihuly Garden and Glass replaced a small amusement park that once stood on the grounds poison you against it. In fact, it's easily my favorite museum anywhere.
I admit, however, that I do wish Fun Forest was still here in some form, as I never got to visit it. It honestly doesn't seem like it was that great, but without it, Seattle no longer has a proper amusement park.
In the upper left of this photo, you can see the white arches of the Pacific Science Center. And, in the distance, Elliott Bay and the Olympic Peninsula.
You are here. Well, ish. I'll get to the Armory in a minute.
Anyway, this is a map of Seattle Center. Maybe I should have led with that.
If you like fountains, you'll love Seattle Center.
Actually, this is a bad example.
I mean, the whale tale is a fountain, but it's turned off in this photo.
Also, in keeping with the sea creatures theme, there are statues of some fish, a seahorse, and a flying pig.
Fisher Pavilion is home (or at least ground zero) to most of the various cultural festivals held in Seattle Center throughout the year.
The International Fountain
Key Arena, in the background, is currently being renovated. Once home to the NBA's Seattle Supersonics, it is being gutted and rebuilt (keeping only it's outer shell) as a hockey area for an NHL expansion team due to begin play in 2021.
They don't have a name yet, but my suggestion is the Seattle Freeze.
Fall colors in front of the KEXP building, which is both a radio station and a coffee shop, because Seattle.
This display honors August Wilson, who was of course the inventor of doors.
The Fountain of Creation is a fountain that celebrates water.
(To be fair, it's more like water's role in the creation of life or something, but whatever.)
This pagoda thing honors the Lion's Club, which is even sillier.
These red tubes commemorate parasitic alien space worms, because you'll believe anything now. (Fleeing human for scale.)
Look, another fountain. I feel fully justified in my earlier statement. And who does this one honor?
This "fountain" separates the Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Seattle Opera. Because if there's one thing that makes ballet dancers feel valued, it's a constantly wet sidewalk right outside their door.
Smisty found her way to the center of the labyrinth that's part of the "Artists at Play" playground. This is her victory stance, and not a gesture of annoyance at my taking this photo.
Collections Cafe (right) is part of Chihuly Garden and Glass, and the Armory (left) is the one building that predates the World's Fair, and actually was an armory at one point.
The Armory is now basically a large food court, with its lower level housing the Seattle Children's Museum. The Seattle Children's Museum will likely not be getting its own update, though, as they won't let us in.
Because we don't have children. It's not like we got trespassed or something.
Still, you never know.
To be clear, I mean that they may change their rules, not that we might one day have children.
Also built for the 1962 World's Fair, and still running. There are only two stations, though. This one, and the other about a mile downtown at Westlake Center. Of course, there's also a light rail station at Westlake Center, so as long as you don't mind transferring once, you can actually get all the way to Seattle Center from the SEATAC airport via train/monorail.
The monorail also travels through MoPop, the Museum of Pop Culture (formerly known as EMP, the Experience Music Project), which was originally meant to be a Jimi Hendrix museum, but covers lots of metaphorical ground now.
The John T. Williams Memorial Totem Pole was erected in 2012 to honor a local Native American woodcarver who was shot and killed by a Seattle Police Officer in 2012, because he had a knife.
Hey, every caption can't be fun.
Near the entrance to the Space Needle sits a bronze recreation of "The Feminine One," a sculpture which served as partial inspiration for the design of the Space Needle.
Of course, there's lots more to say about the Space Needle. And Seattle, itself. Indeed, all of Washington State!
Wow has the area changed. Last time I was in Seattle was 93 in early April, a time when not many, if any parks were open other than Cali or Florida. Fun Forest, my first Windstorm coaster and first Huss Top Spin. Sad those are gone, but the new stuff looks pretty cool.
A Random Photo That Will Reward Those Who Comb Through The Thread Page By Page Rather Than Navigating Via The Table Of Contents, Though I Don't Really Have A Preference To Be Honest, Do Your Own Thing, Man (An Ongoing Feature, Though Its Name Will Change Each Time I Do It)
The Fremont Bridge in Seattle is the most frequently opened drawbridge in the United States.
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